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Variation in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contamination Between Native and Introduced Species of Fishes of Pallikaranai Wetland, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India


The impacts of invasive fish species on recipient communities are mostly considered a threat to the biodiversity of freshwater systems. A characteristic of introduced species turning invasive is their higher tolerance to environmental stressors. To understand if non-native fishes in Pallikaranai wetland, Tamil Nadu, India, are more tolerant to anthropogenic pressures in the Wetland, we assessed the variation in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon contamination between introduced and native fish species. Mean levels of Naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, pyrene, and total PAH in samples of introduced species were higher than native species, while High Molecular weight PAH and carcinogenic PAH4 were higher in native fish species. The data was also analysed to assess if co-variates (organs, seasons, and sex) affected PAH accumulation patterns in non-native species. It was observed that only organs, sex, and year contributed significantly.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Availability of Data and Material

The datasets (Supplementary files) generated during and analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.



Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon


International Union for Conservation of Nature


Low molecular weight PAH


High molecular weight PAH


Sum of 4 carcinogenic PAH, namely Benzo (a) pyrene, Chrysene, Benzo (a) anthracene, and Benzo (b) fluoranthene


Below detection limit


Persistent organic pollutant


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The authors thank the Tamil Nadu Forest Department (TNFD) for granting permits to collect fish samples. Authors are indebted to the Director, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) for his encouragement, Dr. Jayshree Vencatesan, Care Earth trust for her support, Dr. Goldin Quadros for identification of fish, Dr. K Thyagesan, Professor, AVC College, for assisting in statistical analyses and Dr. Kirubhanandini, Messers Kaja Maideen and Manikandan for their help in the laboratory. Authors are indebted to Dr. Donald E Tillitt, Columbia Environmental Research Center.


Authors thank the Department of Science and Technology- Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (DST INSPIRE- Grant No. IF 150157), Government of India, for financial support. The grant recipient is Dr. Mythreyi Devarajan.

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Dr. Mythreyi Devarajan conceptualized, gathered data, analyzed and designed, and wrote the manuscript. Dr. S Muralidharan critically revised the manuscript to shape it. Mr. Karthikeyan and Dr. Nambirajan were involved in the processing and analysing the samples.

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Correspondence to Mythreyi Devarajan.

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Prior approval from Tamil Nadu Forest Department to collect and analyse samples from Pallikaranai was obtained.

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Devarajan, M., Muralidharan, S., Prakasham, K. et al. Variation in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contamination Between Native and Introduced Species of Fishes of Pallikaranai Wetland, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 107, 459–465 (2021).

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  • Pallikaranai
  • POP
  • PAH
  • Native
  • HMW
  • LMW
  • PAH4
  • Wetland