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Algae > Volume 4(2); 1989 > Article
Algae 1989;4(2): 221-238.
The Effects of Heavy Metals in Seaweeds
Ik Kyo Chung, Jin Ae Lee
Department of Marine Science, Pusan National University. Department of Environmental Science, Inje University
The present brief review focuses on some toxic effects of heavy metals in seaweeds. There have not been much studies on the effects of heavy metals in seaweeds. However, their effects are significant on their growth rate, morphology and other metabolic processes. Therefore, the possible impacts on the coastal community with respect to the primary productivity and the energy flow should not be underestimated. Seaweeds are able to accumulate some metals without any toxic effects. The uptake of some metal species in seaweeds has been explained by the adsorption/ion-exchange mechanism of various polysaccharides like alginate, the energy required processes, and other kinetic models. Some seaweeds have been considered as indicators of heavy metal pollution because of their capability of accumulation. Comprehensive biological studies of suitable species and their tissue contents of heavy metals should be prerequisite background for the implication of those species as bioindicators. The concentrations of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb, Fe, Cr, Co, Ni, Hg, As, Sr) in seaweeds of 33 (including 6 unidentified) species of Chlorophyta, 50 (11) of Rhodophyta and 73 (14) of Phaeophyta are listed in this review. Among these Enteromorpha, Ulva, Gracilaria, Polysiphonia, Ascophyllum, Fucus, Laminaria and Sargassum are frequently reported algal species.
Key words: accumulation, heavy metal, indicator, seaweeds

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