Ecology of Indian estuaries: 10. Distribution of total phosphorus, total nitrogen and total potassium in the sediments of Ashtamudi Estuary

N.B. Nair, P.K.A. Azis, M. Arunachalam, K. Krishnakumar, K. Dharmaraj

Abstract



The distribution of total phosphorus, total nitrogen and total potassium in the sediments of Ashtamudi, a tropical estuarine system (8 degrees 53'-9 degrees 2'N latitude and 76 degrees 31'-76 degrees 41'E longitude) has been studied from riverine to marine area in relation to the texture of the sediment and hydrographical features of the bottom waters. The values of total phosphorus, total nitrogen and total potassium are in the range 0.63-7.32 mg.g-1, 1.49-13.78 mg.g-1 and 0.4-3.1 mg.g-1 respectively. The pattern of distribution of total P with the textural relationship is discussed. The input of allochthonous phosphates from sewage is traced in the system. The reason for the higher values for total nitrogen in the riverine area is attributable to the admixture of industrial and agricultural wastes

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