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A case study of PAH contamination using blue mussels as a bioindicator in a small Greenlandic fishing harbor

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  • Rikke Poulsen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Thorsten Klaus Otto Gravert
  • ,
  • Arianna Tartara, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Henriette Kornmaaler Bensen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Klara Cecilia Gunnarsen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Kristína Dicová, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Nikoline Juul Nielsen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Jan Henning Christensen, University of Copenhagen

This study investigated the impact of local anthropogenic activity on the marine environment around the remote harbor of Qeqertarsuaq, West Greenland. Blue mussels (Mytilus sp.) were used as a bioindicator, and their physiological condition was found to decrease with increasing proximity to the harbor. Subsequently, the distribution of 19 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 9 groups of alkylated PAHs were measured in mussel and sediment samples. The highest values were found in a rocky collection area 15 m from a wooden pier frequented by small boats. A PAH source investigation, indicated a mixed source from light fuel oils and creosote used as boat coating. Finally, correlations between the mussels morphological condition and the PAH pollution were found to be significant for 4-, 5-, and 6-ring PAHs. In conclusion, the results indicate that pollution sources in harbors have significant effects on the local environment and should be considered in arctic conservation research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112688
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

    Research areas

  • Arctic environmental pollution, Bioindicators, Greenland, Local pollution, Mytilus sp., PAHs

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