Factors controlling organic matter composition and trophic state in seven tropical estuaries along the west coast of India

  • M. Nageswar Rao
  • Anirudh RamEmail author
  • U. K. Pradhan
  • V. Siddaiah
Original Paper


To understand the organic matter (OM) sources and trophic states, spatial and seasonal (post-monsoon and pre-monsoon) variation in sedimentary OM compositions was investigated in seven tropical estuaries of the state of Maharashtra along the central west coast of India. Based on the result of cluster analysis, estuaries were segregated into two distinct groups: Northern Maharashtra and Southern Maharashtra owing to dissimilarity in OM characteristics potentially constrained by geomorphology and catchment properties. Enrichment of Corg and major biochemical compounds (lipids, carbohydrates and proteins) in the middle zone of most estuaries highlighted towards the addition of allochthonous OM. Results of principal component analysis highlighted the similar source of OM in most of the estuaries during both seasons and their distribution largely constrained by grain size change. The benthic trophic state indicated the prevalence of eutrophic state in the middle zone of the investigated estuaries, which may be sporadic and dependent upon anthropogenic activities in the study area.


West coast of India Tropical estuaries Organic carbon Biochemical compounds Trophic state 



The authors are thankful to the Director, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-NIO), and the Scientist-in-Charge, CSIR-NIO, Regional Centre Mumbai, for encouraging the work and for providing all the necessary instrument facilities. The authors are thankful to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) for providing financial support to carry out the study. This is CSIR-NIO contribution number 6265.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Nageswar Rao
    • 1
  • Anirudh Ram
    • 1
    Email author
  • U. K. Pradhan
    • 1
  • V. Siddaiah
    • 2
  1. 1.Chemical Oceanography Division, Regional CentreCSIR-National Institute of OceanographyMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Organic Chemistry & FDWAndhra UniversityVisakhapatnamIndia

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