Heavy metal bioaccumulation and Fulton’s K condition indices in Scylla serrata (Forskål) in relation to sex

  • J. M. HarrisEmail author
  • P. Vinobaba
  • R. K. A. Kularatne
  • C. E. Kankanamge
Original Paper


This article discusses the temporal variation and stress of heavy metal accumulation in Scylla serrata (Forskål) with reference to sexes. Cd and Sn were undetected (i.e., below the method detection limits of 0.001 Cd mg/kg wet weight and 0.005 Sn mg/kg) in both sexes. However, Scylla serrata (Forskål) consistently exhibited high accumulation of As, Pb, Hg and Zn. Zn was the most abundant metal in both sexes. (Average Zn content in males and females was around 40.76 ± 2.51 and 45.10 ± 2.24 mg/kg wet weight, respectively.) Pb and Hg levels exceeded EU and Sri Lankan admissible limits on many occasions (0.02 Pb mg/kg wet weight and 0.5 Hg mg/kg wet weight). Bioconcentration factors (BCFs) of As and Zn from the water > 1 in both sexes indicating effective direct uptake from the water. However, temporal variation of Zn and Hg and the interaction between temporal variation of these metals and the two sexes were insignificant (P > 0.05). Nevertheless, temporal variation of Pb (P < 0.008) and As (P < 0.05) and the interaction between temporal variation and gender were significant with females exhibiting higher BCFs (As P = 0.002, and Pb P = 0.003). However, there was no statistical significance (P = 0.355) in the Fulton’s K condition index in relation to gender despite females exhibiting higher As and Pb levels. (Highest As and Pb levels in females were around 5.9 As mg/kg wet weight and 0.12 Pb mg/kg wet weight.) Therefore, Fulton’s K condition index is not a reliable indicator regarding stress in crabs due to heavy metal accumulation.


Bioconcentration factors (BCFs) Fulton’s K condition indices Heavy metals Scylla serrata (Forskål) Sex Stress 



This study was funded by a Grant from the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka (NSF Grant No. NSF/SCH/2015/05). We thank the two anonymous reviewers and Prof. Majid Abbaspour for their useful comments and suggestions that enabled us to drastically improve our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Harris
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Vinobaba
    • 1
  • R. K. A. Kularatne
    • 2
  • C. E. Kankanamge
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyEastern UniversityVantharumoolai, ChenkaladySri Lanka
  2. 2.Mount LaviniaSri Lanka
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of RuhunaHapugala, GalleSri Lanka

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