Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 4134–4148 | Cite as

Heavy metal pollution in immobile and mobile components of lentic ecosystems—a review

  • Ramakrishnan Anu Alias Meena
  • Palanivel Sathishkumar
  • Fuad Ameen
  • Abdull Rahim Mohd Yusoff
  • Feng Long GuEmail author
Review Article


With growing population and urbanization, there is an increasing exploitation of natural resources, and this often results to environmental pollution. In this review, the levels of heavy metal in lentic compartments (water, sediment, fishes, and aquatic plants) over the past two decades (1997–2017) have been summarized to evaluate the current pollution status of this ecosystem. In all the compartments, the heavy metals dominated are zinc followed by iron. The major reason could be area mineralogy and lithogenic sources. Enormous quantity of metals like iron in estuarine sediment is a very natural incident due to the permanently reducing condition of organic substances. Contamination of cadmium, lead, and chromium was closely associated with anthropogenic origin. In addition, surrounding land use and atmospheric deposition could have been responsible for substantial pollution. The accumulation of heavy metals in fishes and aquatic plants is the result of time-dependent deposition in lentic ecosystems. Moreover, various potential risk assessment methods for heavy metals were discussed. This review concludes that natural phenomena dominate the accumulation of essential heavy metals in lentic ecosystems compared to anthropogenic sources. Amongst other recent reviews on heavy metals from other parts of the world, the present review is executed in such a way that it explains the presence of heavy metals not only in water environment, but also in the whole of the lentic system comprising sediment, fishes, and aquatic plants.


Lentic ecosystem Heavy metal pollution Water Sediment Fishes Aquatic plants 


Funding information

Financial support from the Project supported by Guangdong Province Universities and Colleges Pearl River Scholar Funded Scheme is greatly acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Theoretical Chemistry of Environment, Ministry of Education; School of Chemistry and EnvironmentSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesBharathiar UniversityCoimbatoreIndia
  3. 3.Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Centre for Sustainable Nanomaterials, Ibnu Sina Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (ISI-SIR)Universiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohor BahruMalaysia

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