Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 22, Issue 4, 2016; Page No.(2041-2045)

ASSESSMENT OF HEAVY METALS IN THREE MACROPHYTES ASSOCIATED WITH AN AQUATIC SYSTEM USING ATOMIC ABSORPTION SPECTROPHOTOMETER

A.A. Prasannakumari, T. Gangadevi and P.R. Jayaraman

Abstract

Aquatic environment is contaminated with heavy metals originating from various sources such as inorganic chemicals, agricultural drainage water containing pesticides and fertilizers, effluents of industrial activities and runoffs in addition to the sewage effluents. Even though some heavy metals are essential factors for the proper growth and functioning of plants, their excess could lead to a number of disorders in animals and humans through biomagnification. Phyto-remediation has received much attention in the field of pollution to clean up the contaminated sites. In the present study three macrophytes: Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott, Limnocharis flava (L.) Buchenau and Saccharum spontaneum L. collected from different stations of Neyyar River, the southernmost river of Kerala, South India, were subjected for the analyses of heavy metalscopper, zinc, cadmium, chromium and lead. Concentration factor for trace metals were computed against sedimentary metal content to assess the metal accumulation efficiency of the species. It was observed that the values remained higher than unity in Colocasia esculenta and Limnocharis flava for copper, zinc, cadmium, chromium and lead, whereas in Saccharum spontaneum the values remained higher than unity only for cadmium, chromium and lead. All the three species under study showed higher accumulation of all the five metals than their normal range in plants indicating their efficiency in the absorption and accumulation of heavy metals. Because of the higher metal accumulation efficiency, all the three species studied could be used as bioindicators for metal pollution.

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