This paper explores the correlations between water quality (measured concentrations of nutrients, metals, and organic compounds), Amphistegina gibbosa (a bioindicator species in the area), and proximity to river runoff in coral reefs of the southwestern Atlantic. The environmental health of these reefs in response to contamination provides insight on the river runoff as a conduit to pollution in coral reefs and the fate and transports of contaminants once they reach the ocean. Results indicated higher concentrations of contaminants and increased bleaching occur closed to the shoreline and river discharge. The multiple markers used to determine environmental conditions presented a novel approach to contamination monitoring and effectively diagnosed where negative impacts were felt most. These findings can support practitioners in prioritizing protection efforts nearest land-based pollution sources and encourage the use of multiple indicators to track and anticipate pollution.

Authors: Marques, J.A., P.G. Costa, L.F.B. Marangoni, C.M. Pereira, D.P. Abrantes, E.N. Calderon, C.B. Castro, and A. Bianchini
Year: 2019
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Science of The Total Environment 651: 261-270. doi:10.1016/j.scitoenv.2018.09.154

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