alexa Assessment of environmental contamination using feathers of Bubulcus ibis L., as a biomonitor of heavy metal pollution, Pakistan.
Agri and Aquaculture

Agri and Aquaculture

Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development

Author(s): Malik RN

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Concentrations of metals such as Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn were analyzed in the feathers of cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) from three breeding colonies in the Punjab province, Pakistan. The mean concentrations of Ca, Cd, Fe, Pb and Mn were significantly different between the three study sites (River Chenab, River Ravi and Rawal Lake Reservoir). The mean concentrations of Ca, Cd, Fe and Mn were significantly greater at the River Chenab heronry and Cr, Co, Zn, and Pb concentrations at the River Ravi heronry. The feathers of cattle egrets collected from the Rawal Lake Reservoir heronry were least contaminated. Multivariate statistical methods viz., Factor Analysis based on Principal Component Analysis (FA/PCA); Hierarchical Cluster analyses (HACA), and Correlation Analyses identified relatively similar associations of metals and their sources of input. Metals such as Ca, Mg, and K were related with natural input from parent rock material whereas trace metals viz., Cu, Cd, Co, Pb, Ni, and Zn were associated mainly with anthropogenic processes. Metals such as Fe, Mn, and Li were either correlated with natural input or with anthropogenic activities. Concentration of heavy metals such as Cd, Pb, and Cr were well above the threshold level that can cause adverse effects in birds and pose menace to the cattle egrets population in Pakistan. The study suggested that the feathers of cattle egret could be used as a bio-monitor of the local heavy metals contamination.

This article was published in Ecotoxicology and referenced in Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development

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