Ecotoxicology of sediment in the estuary of the Jundiaí and Potengi Rivers in Natal-RN, Brazil, by using Leptocheirus plumulosus as test-organism

Rejane Batista Lopes, Raquel Franco de Souza, Sinara Cybelle Turíbio Silva-Nicodemo, Jessica Vitória Felix Cruz, Guilherme Fulgencio de Medeiros


The estuary of the Potengi and Jundiaí Rivers is situated on the coast of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, and has a record of contamination by metals and organic contaminants. However, there are few studies regarding the toxic effects of pollution on the aquatic organisms from this area. The objective was to assess the quality of sediments from the Jundiaí and Potengi Rivers, by the use of toxicity tests with the amphipod Leptocheirus plumulosus. The sediments were collected from 4 sites, in 4 different months along 2011. After data analysis, it was possible to observe that the sediments collected close to the most populated areas of Macaíba and Natal (P1 and P3) were toxic. Sediment from the Station 4 did not show toxicity in any of the months studied, despite its urban location near the port of Natal. This result might be related to a low level of organic matter and greater tidal influence, which affect the dilution of the contaminants at this area and can reduce the sediment toxicity. No relationship between rainfall and environmental toxicity was observed.

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