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Revista mexicana de física

versión impresa ISSN 0035-001X


SOLIS, C et al. Trace metal analysis in sea grasses from Mexican Caribbean Coast by particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE). Rev. mex. fis. [online]. 2008, vol.54, suppl.1, pp.50-53. ISSN 0035-001X.

The growing urban and tourist activity in the Mexican Caribbean coasts has resulted in an increase of chemical substances, metals in particular, discharged to the coastal waters. In order to reach an adequate management and conservation of these marine ecosystems it is necessary to perform an inventory of the actual conditions that reflect the vulnerability and the level of damage. Sea-grasses are considered good biological indicators of heavy metal contamination in marine systems. The goal of this preliminary work is to evaluate the concentrations of trace metals such as Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, and Pb in Thalassia testudinum, a very common sea-grass in the Mexican Caribbean Sea. Samples were collected from several locations in the coasts of the Yucatan Peninsula: Holbox, Blanquizal and Punta Allen, areas virtually uninfluenced by anthropogenic activities. Trace elements in different part plants were determined by particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE). This is a very suitable technique since it offers a fast, accurate and multi-element analysis. Also, the analysis by PIXE can be performed directly on powdered leaves without a laborious sample preparation. The trace metal concentration determined in sea-grasses growing in Caribbean generally fall in the range of the lowest valuables reported for sea grasses from the Gulf of México. The results indicate that the studied areas do not present contamination by heavy metals.

Palabras llave : Trace metals; seagrass; biomonitors; PIXE.

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