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ESR prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01307

Current water pollution status at an important wintering site of the black-faced spoonbill Platalea minor in Xinghua Bay, south China

Ru Jia, Guogang Zhang*, Zeyu Yang, Xi Yu

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Xinghua Bay is one of the largest wintering sites of the black-faced spoonbill Platalea minor in mainland China. The ecosystem of Xinghua Bay has shown a deteriorating trend with the increasing pressure of economic development in recent decades. To understand the current conservation status of the wintering spoonbills in Xinghua Bay, we collected water samples along the coast of Xinghua Bay and important spoonbill habitats during the wintering period to analyse the pollution degree of 7 target heavy metals and organics. The Nemerow pollution index (NPI), heavy metal pollution index (HPI) and contamination degree (CD) were used to assess the heavy metal pollution levels. The ecological risk index of a target heavy metal (Efi) and potential ecological risk index of all target heavy metals (RI) were used to assess the ecological risk of heavy metals surrounding Xinghua Bay. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) was used to determine the source apportionment of heavy metals in coastal waters with the EPA PMF5.0 model. The results showed that there was moderate to very heavy pollution and moderate ecological risks of heavy metals surrounding Xinghua Bay, in which Hg and Cd were the major heavy metal pollution sources, and organic pollution was serious. The use of fertilizers for coastal cultured shellfish and surrounding aquaculture were the major reasons for the excessive nitrogen and phosphorus, and many factories around Xinghua Bay were the major sources of heavy metals and organic pollution. Finally, some conservation suggestions were put forwards to increase the spoonbill population and enhance their habitats.