Spatial distribution of heavy metals in the West Dongting Lake floodplain, China
The protection of Dongting Lake is important because it is an overwintering and migration route for many rare and endangered birds of East Asia and Australasia, but an assessment of heavy metal contamination in West Dongting Lake is lacking. A total of 75 sediment samples (five sites × three sediment depths) were collected in West Dongting Lake in January 2017 to assess the spatial distribution and ecological risk of heavy metals in West Dongting Lake. Heavy metal values varied by sediment depth including As, Cd, Zn, and Cu, with the depth giving an indication of recent vs. historical deposition. The major input of Hg, Cu, and Ni may come from continued anthropogenic activities related to regional industrial activities within the Yuan River and Li River, whereas the major sources of Cd pollution may be from agricultural fertilizers.