Contamination in Mangrove Ecosystems: A Synthesis of Literature Reviews Across Multiple Contaminant Categories.

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Marine Pollution Bulletin

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Mangrove forests are exposed to diverse ocean-sourced and land-based contaminants, yet mangrove contamination research lags. We synthesize existing data and identify major gaps in research on five classes of mangrove contaminants: trace metals, persistent organic pollutants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, microplastics, and pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Research is concentrated in Asia, neglected in Africa and the Americas; higher concentrations are correlated with waste water treatment plants, industry, and urbanized landscapes. Trace metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, frequently at concentrations below regulatory thresholds, may bioconcentrate in fauna, whereas persistent organic pollutants were at levels potentially harmful to biota through short- or long-term exposure. Microplastics were at variable levels, yet lack regulatory and ecotoxicological thresholds. Pharmaceuticals and personal care products received minimal research despite biological activity at small concentrations. Given potential synergistic effects, multi-contaminant research, increased monitoring of multiple contaminant classes, and increased public outreach and involvement are needed.


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