Monitoring of heavy metal partitioning in reef corals of Lakshadweep Archipelago, Indian Ocean
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This paper focuses on the partitioning of trace metals in five selected coral species from Lakshadweep Archipelago, which remains as one of the least studied areas in the Indian Ocean. Based on the morphological features, selected coral species are classified as massive (Porites andrewsi), ramose or branching (Lobophyllia corymbosa, Acropora formosa and Psammocora contigua) and foliaceous (Montipora digitata). Relating trace metal concentrations with morphological features in skeleton, highest concentrations of all the trace metals (except Zn) were reported for the ramose type corals. In tissue, all the metals (essential as well as non essential) showed highest concentrations within the branching type corals. Irrespective of their growth characteristics/pattern, all species except P. contigua displayed higher concentrations of Pb, Ni, Mn and Cd within their skeleton compared to tissue which may exemplify a regulatory mechanism to avoid the build up of the concentrations of these metals in their bio-part, strikingly toxic metals like Cd and Pb. The concentrations of trace metals in the skeleton and tissues of these coral species were subjected to 3 way ANOVA based on non standardized original data and the results showed significant differences between metals and between species leading to high skeleton/ tissue -- species interaction as well as skeleton/tissue – metal interaction. The significant values of student's t calculated are depicted in the form of Trellis diagrams.
Key wordsTrace metals Coral reefs Bioaccumulation Indicator species Archipelago Lakshadweep
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