Comparison of trace metal contents of sediments and mussels collected within and outside Tolo Harbour, Hong Kong

Y. H. Cheung, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Sediments collected from Tap Mun (within Tolo Harbour) and Yim Tin Tsai (outside Tolo Harbour) were extracted sequentially and the copper, cadmium, and chromium contents were determined. Total contents of copper, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic were also detected by acid digestion. The level of heavy metal extracted was higher in sequential extraction (which extracted all forms of metal ions) than total acid digestion. Among the four heavy metals studied, only copper showed a significantly higher (P<0.001) level in samples collected from Yim Tin Tsai (16.10 mg/kg) than that from Tap Mun (3.19 mg/kg). Such a difference in copper level is mainly attributed to the significantly higher (P<0.05) levels of copper in the organic, carbonate, and sulfide forms, whereas there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in the exchangeable and sorbed forms. Green-lipped mussel (Perna viridis) samples collected from the two sites were dissected into seven parts (gill, byssus, siphon, shell, digestive gland, soft tissue, and adductor muscle) and the concentrations of copper, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic were measured. The highest concentration of copper was obtained in the byssus. A higher concentration of copper was also noted in the mussels collected from Yim Tin Tsai than those collected from Tap Mun. No specific trend was revealed for the other metals tested. Chromium and arsenic concentrations were found to be independent of the body size of the mussels. Copper had a lower concentration in larger mussels and cadmium level was found to decrease with size. In addition, the mussels collected from Tap Mun were much larger than those collected from Yim Tin Tsai.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-751
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1992

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Mussels
  • Sediments
  • Trace metals


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