Indicator organisms of pollution in Cochin backwaters

K.N. Remani, K.S. Devi, P. Venugopal, R.V. Unnithan


Indicator organisms of organic pollution in two localities in the Cochin backwaters are identified. The two sites have different sources of pollution, one from retting of coconut husk and the other from discharge of municipal wastes. Paraheteromastus tenuis a capitellid polychaete totally dominated the benthic community of the retting ground maintaining high population densities even during the pre-monsoon season when the adverse effects of pollution are severe. In the area of municipal waste discharge the community was dominated by a spionid worm Prionospio polybranchiata . This selective deposit feeder seems to be favoured by the organic enrichment. The two localities though only a few kilometres apart and with similar nature of pollution, the abiotic regime seems to encourage its own characteristic assemblages and indicators


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