Mangroves: A Sink of Heavy Metals

  • Abhijit Mitra


Rapid industrialization, intense urbanization, expansion of aquaculture, unplanned tourism and establishment of fish landing units has caused a serious environmental impact on different aspects including biodiversity and health of mangroves. Mangroves are one of the most highly dynamic ecosystems which could sensitively reflect variations within the environment. Mangroves and their sediments have an important ecological value because they can act as natural sinks for heavy metals owing to the high capacity to sequester such metals from tidal waters, estuaries, rivers and other sources. However, according to the author the significant assimilating potential of mangroves does not mean that the system should be used as bin of conservative wastes. Implementation of water pollution prevention strategies and restoration of ecological systems coupled with mass awareness are integral components to maintain the health of mangroves.


Industrialization Urbanization Heavy metals Natural sinks 


  1. Agoramoorthy, G., Chen, F. A., & Hsu, M. J. (2008). Threat of heavy metal pollution in halophytic and mangrove plants of Tamil Nadu, India. Environmental Pollution, 155, 320–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alberic, P., Baillif, P., Baltzer, F., Cossa, D., & Lallier Verges, E. (2006). Heavy metals distribution in mangrove sediments along the mobile coastline of French Guiana. Marine Chemistry, 98, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Banerjee, K., Roy Chowdhury, M., Sengupta, K., Sett, S., & Mitra, A. (2012). Influence of anthropogenic and natural factors on the mangrove soil of Indian Sundarbans wetland. Archive of Environmental Science, 6, 80–91.Google Scholar
  4. Basamba, T. A., Kakudidi, E., Mutumba, G., Oryem Origa, H., & Sekabira, K. (2010). Assessment of heavy metal pollution in the urban stream sediments and its tributaries. International journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 7, 435–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burchett, M. D., MacFarlane, G. R., & Pulkownik, A. (2003). Accumulation and distribution of heavy metals in the grey mangrove Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh.: Biological indication potential. Environmental Pollution, 123, 139–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chakraborty, S., Rudra, T., Guha, A., Ray, A., Pal, N., & Mitra, A. (2016). Spatial variation of heavy metals in Tenualosa ilisha muscle: A case study from the lower Gangetic delta and coastal West Bengal. International Journal of Innovations in Science, Engineeringg & Technology, 3(4), 1–14.Google Scholar
  7. Chakraborty, S., Trivedi, S., Fazli, P., Zaman, S., & Mitra, A. (2014). Avicennia alba: An indicator of heavy metal pollution in Indian Sundarban estuaries. Journal of Environmental Science, Computer Science, Engineeringg & Technology, 3(4), 1796–1807.Google Scholar
  8. Chakraborty, S., Zaman, S., Pramanick, P., Raha, A. K., Mukhopadhyay, N., Chakravartty, D., & Mitra, A. (2013). Acidifications of Sundarbans mangrove estuarine system. Discovery Nature, 6(14), 14–20.Google Scholar
  9. Chen, G. Z., Peng, Y. S., Zhao, B., & Zhou, Y. W. (2010). Influence of mangrove reforestation on heavy metal accumulation and speciation in intertidal sediments. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 60, 1319–1324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Defew, L. H., Guzman, H. M., & Mair, J. M. (2005). An assessment of metal contamination in mangrove sediments and leaves from Punta Mala Bay, Pacific Panama. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 50, 547–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hasnain, S. I. (2002). Himalayan glaciers meltdown: Impact on South Asian Rivers. International Association of Hydrological Sciences, 7, 274.Google Scholar
  12. Lazaroff, C. (2000). Hidden ground water pollution problem runs deep. Environment news service. Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute.Google Scholar
  13. Lewis, M., Pryor, R., & Wilking, L. (2011). Fate and effects of anthropogenic chemicals in mangrove ecosystems: A review. Environmental Pollution, 159, 2328–2346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Manskaya, S. M., & Drozdova, T. V. (1968). Geochemistry of organic substances. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  15. Mitra, A. (1998). Status of coastal pollution in West Bengal with special reference to heavy metals. Journal of Indian Ocean Studies, 5(2), 135–138.Google Scholar
  16. Mitra, A. (2013). Blue carbon: A hidden treasure in the climate change science. Journal of Marine Science Research and Development, 3(2), 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mitra, A., Banerjee, K., & Bhattacharyya, D. P. (2004). Impact of pollution on mangroves. In The other face of mangroves (pp. 69–86). Department of Environment, Govt. of West Bengal, Kolkata, India.Google Scholar
  18. Mitra, A., Banerjee, K., Sengupta, K., & Gangopadhyay, A. (2009). Pulse of climate change in Indian Sundarbans: A myth or reality? National Academy of Science Letters, 32(1/2), 19–25.Google Scholar
  19. Mitra, A., Chakraborty, R., Sengupta, K., & Banerjee, K. (2011). Effects of various cooking processes on the concentrations of heavy metals in common finfish and shrimps of the River Ganga. National Academy Science Letters, 34(3 & 4), 161–168.Google Scholar
  20. Mitra, A., & Choudhury, A. (1993). Heavy metal concentrations in oyster Crassostrea cucullata of Sagar Island, India. Indian Journal of Environment and Health, NEERI, 35(2), 139–141.Google Scholar
  21. Mitra, A., Choudhury, A., & Zamaddar, Y. A. (1992). Effects of heavy metals on benthic molluscan communities in Hooghly estuary. Proceedings of Zoological Society, 45, 481–496.Google Scholar
  22. Mitra, A., Chowdhury, R., & Banerjee, K. (2012). Concentration of some heavy metal in commercially important fin fish and shell fish of the River Ganga. Environment Monitoring Assessment, 184, 219–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mitra, A., & Zaman, S. (2015). Blue carbon reservoir of the blue planet. New Delhi: Springer., ISBN. 978-81-322-2106-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mitra, A., Trivedi, S., & Choudhury, A. (1994). Inter-relationship between trace metal pollution and physico-chemical variables in the frame work of Hooghly estuary. Indian Ports, 2, 27–35.Google Scholar
  25. Mitra, A., & Zaman, S. (2016). Basics of marine and estuarine ecology. New Delhi: Springer, ISBN 978-81-322-2705-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mitra, A., & Ghosh, R. (2014). Bioaccumulation pattern of heavy metals in commercially important fishes on and around Indian Sundarbans. Global Journal of Animal Scientific Research, 2(1), 33–45.Google Scholar
  27. Panigrahy, P. K., Nayak, B. B., Acharya, B. C., Das, S. N., Basu, S. C., & Sahoo, R. K. (1997). Evaluation of heavy metal accumulation in coastal sediments of northern Bay of Bengal. In C. S. P. Iyer (Ed.), Advances in environmental science (pp. 139–146). New Delhi: Educational Publishers and Distributors.Google Scholar
  28. Rajkumar, M., Saravanakumar, A., Serebiah, J. S., Sun, J., & Thivakaran, G. A. (2009). Forest structure of arid zone mangroves in relation to their physical and chemical environment in the western Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat, Northwest coast of India. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 13, 217–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sahu, K. C., & Bhosale, U. (1991). Heavy metal pollution around the island city of Bombay, India, part-I: Quantification of heavy metal pollution of aquatic sediments and recognition of environment discriminates. Chemical Geology, 91, 263–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sarika, P. R., & Chandramohanakumar, N. (2008). Geochemistry of heavy metals in the surficial sediments of mangroves of the south west coast of India. Chemistry and Ecology, 24, 437–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sengupta, K., Roy Chowdhury, M., Bhattacharyya, S. B., Raha, A., Zaman, S., & Mitra, A. (2013). Spatial variation of stored carbon in Avicennia alba of Indian Sundarbans. Discovery Nature, 3(8), 19–24.Google Scholar
  32. Shriadah, M. M. A. (1999). Heavy metals in mangrove sediments of the United Arab Emirates shoreline. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 116, 523–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tam, N. F. Y., & Wong, Y. S. (1999). Mangrove soils in removing pollutants from municipal wastewater of different salinities. Journal of Environmental Quality, 28, 556–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Usman, A. R., Alkredaa, R. S., & Al-Wabel, M. I. (2013). Heavy metal contamination in sediments and mangroves from the Coasta of Red Sea: Avicennia marina as potential metal bioaccumulator. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 97, 263–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abhijit Mitra
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marine ScienceUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations