Occurrence of heavy metals in abiotic and biotic components of the Mangrove ecosystem of Thane creek

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Thane Creek long, 72º55 to 73ºE and Lat. 19º.00 to 19º15” N) is 26 km long creek having highly industrilized and urbanized Thane Mumbai Complex along its banks. It receives high amount of untreated domestic sewage and industrial effluent 294 mld and 145 to 260 mld respectively (TMC Report 2000). The present study was carried out during 2001-2002, to assess the heavy metals Zinc, Copper, Cadmium, Lead and Iron in different abiotic and biotic components of mangrove ecosystem of the creek. It was observed that - concentration of the metals Copper, Lead, Zinc and iron was very high in the abiotic and the biotic components while that of Cadmium were negligible, high metal concentration was observed in the crabs Illoplax gangetica a and Uca ssp., the gastropods Assiminia bervicula, Haminia crocata. Melampus signaporensis and unidentifed gastropod, the polychaetes Nereis glandicinta andan unidentified polychaete indicating the tolerance of these organisms to the heavy metals, the leaves of avicennia marina showed accumulation of zinc, while the stem samples had high concentration of iron. Compared to the past data, the concentration of metals was found to be growing in the abiotic and biotic components of Thane creek. All these observations indicate deteriorating conditions of the creek and emphasises the need to check the pollution in the creek.
Mangroves, Heavy metals, Thane creek, Copper