Phosphorus and iron distribution in two mangrove species in relation to environment

A.N. Subramanian, V.K. Venugopalan


Samples of water, sediment and plants were collected from Pitchavaram mangrove, South India and salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH and various fractions of phosphorus and iron were determined. The dissolved iron concentration showed a significant positive correlation with salinity whereas the particulate iron had a significant negative correlation with salinity. But the relationships between the dissolved, particulate and sediment iron were not linear. The phosphorus content of the area varied irregularly and never showed any clear trend in relation to salinity. The phosphorus and iron content of net plankton showed no significant correlation either with salinity or with dissolved and particulate fractions of these elements. The salt excreting mangrove species Avicennia marina was found to accumulate more phosphorus and iron in the leaves than the salt excluding species Rhizophora mucronata and a clear seasonal fluctuation was also noted. No clear statistical relation was found between the concentrations of phosphorus and iron in leaves and those in environment of the same. It could be suggested from the observations that the salt transport mechanism is well developed in A. marina whereas the ultrafilter mechanism is well developed in R. mucronata


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