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Diatom Distribution and Mercury Levels in Two Hawaiian Intertidal Marine Beaches

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Title: Diatom Distribution and Mercury Levels in Two Hawaiian Intertidal Marine Beaches
Authors: Saboski, Eleanor M.
Issue Date: Apr 1979
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Saboski EM. 1979. Diatom distribution and mercury levels in two Hawaiian intertidal marine beaches. Pac Sci 33(2): 145-148.
Abstract: In order to study the ecology of diatoms in Hawaiian beaches,
field studies were conducted on two distinctly different marine beaches. One
(Kalapana Beach, Island of Hawaii) is composed mostly of black basaltic
sand of volcanic origin, and the other (Kahala Beach, Island of Oahu) is
mainly biogenic calcium carbonate. A 3-month, baseline field study was conducted
during which time mercury levels and numbers of viable diatoms were
determined for each sampled intertidal position. When comparable intertidal
positions were analyzed between beaches, cell numbers at Kahala were up to
3360-fold higher than those at Kalapana, but mercury values at Kalapana
were up to 14-fold higher than those at Kahala. When mercury values were
compared to numbers of diatoms, a positive correlation (+0.49) was found
for the Kahala data, while a negative correlation (-0.57) was found for the
Kalapana data. Mercury values at Kalapana reached reported toxic levels.
This may be a factor in reducing the numbers ofdiatoms in the Kalapana Beach.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 33, Number 2, 1979

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