First report on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in coral communities from the Northern South China sea: Occurrence, seasonal variation, and interspecies differences
By Lijia Xu, Hui Chen, Xu Han, Kefu Yu, Yongzhi Wang, Bibai Du, and Lixi Zeng
September 20, 2022
In this study, the contamination levels and seasonal variation of 22 PFASs were investigated in coastal reef-building corals (n = 68) from the northern South China Sea (SCS) during wet and dry seasons. Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) was the predominant PFASs in all coral samples, representing 43% of the total PFAS. Long-chain PFASs, as well as PFAS alternatives, were frequently detected above the MQL (>88%) but showed relatively low concentrations compared to short-chain PFASs in most species and seasons. Seasonal variation of PFAS concentrations were observed in branching corals, indicating that the accumulation of PFASs may be associated with coral morphological structures. Interspecies differences in PFAS levels agree well with different bioaccumulation potentials among coral species. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that seasonal factor and coral genus could partly influence PFAS concentrations in coral tissues. In summary, our study firstly reported the occurrence of PFASs in coral communities from the SCS and highlights the necessity for future investigations on more toxicity data for coral communities.