Impacts of gold mine waste disposal on a tropical pelagic ecosystem

Brewer, D. T., Morello, E. B., Griffiths, S., Fry, G., Heales, D., Apte, S. C., Venables, W. N., Rothlisberg, P. C., Moeseneder, C., Lansdell, M., Pendrey, R., Coman, F., Strzelecki, J., Jarolimek, C. V., Jung, R. F. and Richardson, A. J. (2012) Impacts of gold mine waste disposal on a tropical pelagic ecosystem. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 64 12: 2790-2806. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.09.009

Author Brewer, D. T.
Morello, E. B.
Griffiths, S.
Fry, G.
Heales, D.
Apte, S. C.
Venables, W. N.
Rothlisberg, P. C.
Moeseneder, C.
Lansdell, M.
Pendrey, R.
Coman, F.
Strzelecki, J.
Jarolimek, C. V.
Jung, R. F.
Richardson, A. J.
Title Impacts of gold mine waste disposal on a tropical pelagic ecosystem
Journal name Marine Pollution Bulletin   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-326X
Publication date 2012-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.09.009
Volume 64
Issue 12
Start page 2790
End page 2806
Total pages 17
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We used a comparative approach to investigate the impact of the disposal of gold mine tailings into the ocean near the Lihir mine (Niolam Island, Papua New Guinea). We found abundance and diversity of zooplankton, micronekton and pelagic fish to be similar or higher in the mine region compared to the reference site. We also found relatively high trace metal concentrations in lower trophic level groups, especially zooplankton, near the mine discharge, but few differences in tissue concentrations of micronekton, baitfish and pelagic fish between the two regions. Biomagnification of some trace metals by micronekton, and of mercury by fish was evident in both regions. We conclude that ocean mine waste disposal at Niolam Island has a local impact on the smaller and less mobile pelagic communities in terms of trace metal concentrations, but has little effect on the abundance and biodiversity of the local food web.
Keyword Deep sea tailings placement
Pelagic food web
Trace metal
Species diversity
Lihir Island group
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
Official 2013 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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