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Rare Moss-Built Microterraces in a High-Altitude, Acid Mine Drainage-Polluted Stream (Cordillera Negra, Peru).

Sevink J, Verstraten JM, Kooijman AM, Loayza-Muro RA, Hoitinga L, Palomino EJ, Jansen B - Water Air Soil Pollut (2015)

Bottom Line: In a strongly acid stream, at about 3800 m above sea level (masl), microterraces were found with terrace walls built up of dead moss, with encrustations and interstitial fine, creamy sediment.The moss was identified as the rare bryophyte Anomobryum prostratum (Müll.Hal.) Besch.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT

The Rio Santiago in the Cordillera Negra of Peru is severely contaminated by acid mine drainage in its headwaters. In a strongly acid stream, at about 3800 m above sea level (masl), microterraces were found with terrace walls built up of dead moss, with encrustations and interstitial fine, creamy sediment. The stream water was turbid due to the presence of similar suspended sediment, which also occurred as a thin basal layer in inter-rim basins. The moss was identified as the rare bryophyte Anomobryum prostratum (Müll. Hal.) Besch. Chemical and mineralogical analyses show that green, living parts of the moss are gradually coated by Al/Fe (hydr)oxides, inducing their senescence and death. The necromass is covered by creamy crusts through precipitation of schwertmannite-type material from the stream water and simultaneous 'capture' of fine sediment. The latter consists of a mixture of precipitate and fine detrital primary minerals. These processes are held responsible for the formation of the microterraces, which regarding their composition and environment seem to be unique. Remarkable is the high As content of the creamy crusts and sediment, attributed to strong sorption of As, whereas its solute concentration is relatively low. This calls for more attention to suspended fine sediment in the assessment of environmental risks of stream water use. Lastly, the results raise serious doubts about the use of aquatic bryophytes as bioindicator for chemical pollution in acid mine drainage-polluted streams.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Location of the area of study (a, b), sampling site (b, c) and major upstream mine tailings (d, e)
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Fig1: Location of the area of study (a, b), sampling site (b, c) and major upstream mine tailings (d, e)

Mentions: The Cordillera Negra in Ancash (Peru) is noted for its polymetallic mines (Walsh 2013). Loayza-Muro et al. (2010) studied the heavy metal pollution and other environmental stress factors for the aquatic entomofauna in its high-altitude streams, inclusive of the Rio Santiago in the Aija catchment (see Fig. 1). During a visit to their Rio Santiago sampling site in November 2010 (end of the dry season), we observed hitherto unnoticed travertine-like microterraces that were built up by a single moss species; the only macro plant species found. Inter-rim basins held cream-coloured fine sediment, also encountered as interstitial fill in the moss rims.Fig. 1


Rare Moss-Built Microterraces in a High-Altitude, Acid Mine Drainage-Polluted Stream (Cordillera Negra, Peru).

Sevink J, Verstraten JM, Kooijman AM, Loayza-Muro RA, Hoitinga L, Palomino EJ, Jansen B - Water Air Soil Pollut (2015)

Location of the area of study (a, b), sampling site (b, c) and major upstream mine tailings (d, e)
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4446526&req=5

Fig1: Location of the area of study (a, b), sampling site (b, c) and major upstream mine tailings (d, e)
Mentions: The Cordillera Negra in Ancash (Peru) is noted for its polymetallic mines (Walsh 2013). Loayza-Muro et al. (2010) studied the heavy metal pollution and other environmental stress factors for the aquatic entomofauna in its high-altitude streams, inclusive of the Rio Santiago in the Aija catchment (see Fig. 1). During a visit to their Rio Santiago sampling site in November 2010 (end of the dry season), we observed hitherto unnoticed travertine-like microterraces that were built up by a single moss species; the only macro plant species found. Inter-rim basins held cream-coloured fine sediment, also encountered as interstitial fill in the moss rims.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: In a strongly acid stream, at about 3800 m above sea level (masl), microterraces were found with terrace walls built up of dead moss, with encrustations and interstitial fine, creamy sediment.The moss was identified as the rare bryophyte Anomobryum prostratum (Müll.Hal.) Besch.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT

The Rio Santiago in the Cordillera Negra of Peru is severely contaminated by acid mine drainage in its headwaters. In a strongly acid stream, at about 3800 m above sea level (masl), microterraces were found with terrace walls built up of dead moss, with encrustations and interstitial fine, creamy sediment. The stream water was turbid due to the presence of similar suspended sediment, which also occurred as a thin basal layer in inter-rim basins. The moss was identified as the rare bryophyte Anomobryum prostratum (Müll. Hal.) Besch. Chemical and mineralogical analyses show that green, living parts of the moss are gradually coated by Al/Fe (hydr)oxides, inducing their senescence and death. The necromass is covered by creamy crusts through precipitation of schwertmannite-type material from the stream water and simultaneous 'capture' of fine sediment. The latter consists of a mixture of precipitate and fine detrital primary minerals. These processes are held responsible for the formation of the microterraces, which regarding their composition and environment seem to be unique. Remarkable is the high As content of the creamy crusts and sediment, attributed to strong sorption of As, whereas its solute concentration is relatively low. This calls for more attention to suspended fine sediment in the assessment of environmental risks of stream water use. Lastly, the results raise serious doubts about the use of aquatic bryophytes as bioindicator for chemical pollution in acid mine drainage-polluted streams.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus