Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contents of Coral and Surface Sediments off the South Texas Coast of the Gulf of Mexico

Daryl T Sabourin, James E Silliman, Kevin B Strychar


Sediment and coral (Leptogorgia setacea) samples were analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations along the Port Aransas Jetties off the coast of south Texas. Total PAH concentrations ranged from 243-2121 ppm in corals and from 1-328 ppm in sediments. In addition to total PAH concentrations being higher in coral samples, most of the corals also showed higher PAH concentrations in their skeletal cores than their body tissues. Our results suggest that corals are bioaccumulating PAHs. However, more statistical analysis and a larger breadth of samples need to be collected for better resolution. The importance of our observations is that the general trends show bioaccumulation at the beginning of the food chain (i.e., coral) which can have perilous consequences for bivalves, fish, and other organisms that feed in/on and around corals.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ijb.v5n1p1

International Journal of Biology   ISSN 1916-9671(Print)   ISSN 1916-968X  (Online)

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