Assessment of Heavy Metals Content in Water Ecosystem of Viroi Lake in Gjirokastra District, Albania


1Department of Agro Environment and Ecology, Agricultural University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania

2Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, “Eqrem Çabej” University, Gjirokastra, Albania

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The entry of contaminants and especially heavy metals in water ecosystems from human and natural activities is actually one of the most important issues. Heavy metals can be incorporated in water, sediment and aquatic organisms, thus causing heavy metal pollution in water ecosystems. Current study aims to evaluate the occurrence and the transfer of heavy metals in the water ecosystem components. Samples of sediments, water and macrophytes were collected in Viroi Lake and the concentration of heavy metals Zn, Fe, Pb, Cu, Cr, Cd and Ni were determined by using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AAS). The highest concentrations of heavy metals were found in sediment samples and the lowest in water samples. The results showed that the sediments of the lake were mainly polluted with Ni and Cd. The obtained heavy metals concentrations in water were lower compared with the maximum values of the EC Directives 75/440/EEC and 2008/105/EC for water quality evaluation. The found concentrations of heavy metals Zn and Fe in water plants were higher compared with WHO standard, whereas Pb was not detected in all collected plant samples. Thus, the water ecosystem of Viroi Lake presents a potential risk due to the possibility transfer of heavy metals to the food chain.

Keywords: Heavy metals; sediments; water plants; ecosystem; food chain.



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