Aluminium in aquatic environments: abundance and ecotoxicological impacts

Aluminium (Al) is a common chemical element released into the aquatic environment from the Earth’s crust and many anthropogenic activities. It may be present in various dissolved and precipitated forms [Al3+, AlOH2+, Al(OH)2+, Al(OH)03, Al(OH)4, etc.], which are potentially toxic for organisms. This review summarizes information about the concentrations of Al detected in aquatic ecosystems and its effects on both freshwater and marine organisms (such as growth disturbance, reproduction, and respiration alterations). As the chemistry of Al is different in freshwater and marine systems, we discuss the behaviour of aluminium and its effects on marine or freshwater fauna. Therefore, the solubility of Al, as other metals, is highly pH dependent, which increases when pH decreases. We are assuming that ocean acidification, linked to climate change, would affect the Al bioavailability in the aquatic environment, which may increase its ecotoxicological effects on semi-closed (Bays, Mediterranean Sea, etc.) or closed (lakes, etc.) aquatic ecosystems.

Botté A., Zaidi M., Guery J., Fichet D. & Leignel V., in press.  Aluminium in aquatic environments: abundance and ecotoxicological impacts. Aquatic Ecology. Article.

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