Open Access

Recent trends in research on heavy-metal contamination in the sea

  • G. W. Bryan1
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen33:6


Recent trends in the study of metal contamination in the sea are reviewed. Aspects of contamination which are considered include the input of metals to the sea and their deposition in the sediments, the influence of environmental and biological factors on the accumulation of metals by the biota and the use of organisms as indicators of contamination. Laboratory studies on the biological effects of metals and the problem of monitoring effects in the field are discussed. The importance of the metabolism of metals by the biota is stressed since it is relevant to the adaptation of organisms to chronic contamination and to the attainment of very high levels in some commercial species. Finally, the abatement of contamination is discussed.