Dsikowitzky, Larissa, Nordhaus, Inga, Sujatha, C.H., Akhil, P.S., Soman, Kunjupilai and Schwarzbauer, Jan (2014) A combined chemical and biological assessment of industrial contamination in an estuarine system in Kerala, India. Science of The Total Environment, 485-486 . pp. 348-362. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.034.

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The Cochin Backwaters in India are part of the Vembanad-Kol system, which is a protected wetland and one of the largest estuarine ecosystems in South Asia. The backwaters are a major supplier of fisheries resources and are developed as tourist destination. Periyar River discharges into the northern arm of the system and receives effluents from chemical, petrochemical and metal processing industries which release huge amounts of wastewaters after little treatment. We investigated water and sediment contamination in the industrial vicinity and at one station further away including organic and inorganic contaminants. In total 83 organic contaminants were found, e.g. well known priority pollutants such as endosulfan, hexachlorobenzene, DDT, hexachlorocyclohexane and their metabolites, which likely stem from the industrial manufacturing of organochlorine pesticides. Furthermore, several benzothiazole, dibenzylamine and dicyclohexylamine derivatives were detected, which indicated inputs from rubber producing facilities. Several of these compounds have not been reported as environmental contaminants so far. A comparison of organic contaminant and trace hazardous element concentrations in sediments with reported sediment quality guidelines revealed that adverse effects on benthic species are likely at all stations. The chemical assessment was combined with an investigation of macrobenthic diversity and community composition. Benthic organisms were completely lacking at the site with the highest trace hazardous element concentrations. Highest species numbers, diversity indices and abundances were recorded at the station with the greatest distance to the industrial area. Filter feeders were nearly completely lacking, probably leading to an impairment of the filter function in this area. This study shows that a combination of chemical and biological methods is an innovative approach to achieve a comprehensive characterization of industrial contamination, to evaluate associated risks for bottom dwelling consumers regarding sediment quality guidelines, and to observe related adverse effects on the benthic community directly in the field.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Ecology > Mangrove Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.034
ISSN: 00489697
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2019 18:17
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:29
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/2532

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