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Environmental evaluation in channels of the Santos and Sao Vicente estuary: approach with benthic foraminifera and heavy metals

Grant number: 18/10232-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2018
Effective date (End): December 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography
Principal Investigator:Silvia Helena de Mello e Sousa
Grantee:Bruno Vanderlinde Damasio
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The metropolitan area of Santos is an important region of the country, where the largest port in Latin America and the largest industrial pole in the country are found. The region was urbanized and industrialized from the 1950s in an uncontrolled way, and the industrial activity, with high polluting potential, made the estuary of Santos and São Vicente a great recipient of toxic waste and contaminated liquid effluents. There is a need for an environmental monitoring in the estuary channels, and choosing an efficient method is essential. Benthic foraminifera are ideal bioindicators for this monitoring because they are widely found in modern oceans, easy to collect in sediment samples and have well preserved fossils. Since they have a short life cycle, their response to environmental changes is rapid and can provide crucial information about the environmental quality of the place they live in. The main goal of this work will be the evaluation of the environmental quality along the estuary channels of Santos and São Vicente, providing subsidies to future environmental monitoring in the region. In the present study, benthic foraminifera species (dead fauna) will be separated and identified in 10 superficial sediment samples that were collected with a Van Veen grab sampler along the channels of the Santos and São Vicente Estuary from the upper Piaçaguera River, next to the Usiminas, former COSIPA, until the Bay of Santos, in the year 2015. Ecological indices such as density of individuals (n ° ind./10cc), species richness (S), diversity of Shannon Wiever (H ') and evenness of Pielou (J') will be calculated. Correlations tests are also going to be made with abiotic data (concentrations of metals in the sediment, total organic carbon content and total nitrogen) previously obtained in other projects. (AU)