Impact of Iron Ore Tailing on Foraminifera of the Uppateru River Estuary, East Coast of India


Benthic foraminiferal assemblages have been used to determine the effects of Iran ore tailing pollution on the marine environment. The present paper attempts to unveil pollution impact as responded by foraminiferal species of Uppateru estuary. The faunal data thus generated is compared with earlier data sets for possible adverse effects. There has been substantial reduction in total foraminiferal number (TFN), from 574 in 2006 to 213 in 2008 species ( per10 gram sediment. Even the total species number (TSN) decreased from 27 in ( 2006 to 8 ( in 2008. Ammonia accounted for its share (68%), followed by Elphidium (7.4%) and Quinqueloculina (6.5%). These genera are considered to be robust and opportunistic type in the study area. This faunal variation in terms of density (TFN) may be owing to the pollution caused by iron ore tailing. This study also supports the view that benthic foraminiferal biota can be used as a tool to monitor marine pollution in general and estuarine environment in specific.

Share and Cite:

N. Jayaraju, B. Reddy, K. Reddy and A. Reddy, "Impact of Iron Ore Tailing on Foraminifera of the Uppateru River Estuary, East Coast of India," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2011, pp. 213-220. doi: 10.4236/jep.2011.23025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] [1] D. J. Morrisey , S. J. Turner, G. N. Mills, R. B. Williamson and B. E. Wsie, “Factors Affecting the Distribution of Benthic Macrofauna in Estuaries Contaminated by Urban Runoff,” Marine Environmental Research, Vol. 55, No. 2, 2003, pp. 113-136. doi:10.1016/S0141-1136(02)00211-8
[2] L. Rosales-Hez, E. Carranza and O. Celis-Hernandez, “Environmental Implications of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments near Isla De Sacrificios, Mexico,” Bull Environ Contam Toxicol, Vol. 78, No. 5, 2007, pp. 353-357. doi:10.1007/s00128-007-9125-7
[3] M. N. Vazquez, M. A. Gil, E. J. L. Esteves and E. M. A. Narvarte, “Monitoring Heavy Metal Pollution in San Antonio Bay, Rio Negro, Argentina,” Bull Environ Contam Toxicol, Vol. 79, No. 2, 2007, pp. 121-125. doi:10.1007/s00128-007-9084-z
[4] E. Alve, “Benthic Foraminiferal Response to Estuarine Pollution: A Review,” Journal of Foraminiferal Research, Vol. 25, No. 3, 1995, pp. 190-203. doi:10.2113/gsjfr.25.3.190
[5] R. Nigam, R. Saraswat and R. Panchang, “Application of Foraminifera Ecotoxicology: Retrospect, Perspect and Prospect,” Environmental International, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2006, pp. 273-283. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2005.08.024
[6] N. Jayaraju and K. R. Reddi, “Impact of Pollution on Coastal Zone Monitoring with Benthic Foraminifera of Tuticorin, South East Coast of India,” Indian Journal of Marine Sciences, Vol. 25, 1996, pp. 376-378.
[7] N. Jayaraju, B. C. Sundara Raja Reddy and K. R. Reddy “The Response Ofbenthic Foraminifera to Various Pollution Sources: A Study From Nellore coast, East Coast of India,” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 142, No. 1-3, 2008, pp. 319-323. doi:10.1007/s10661-007-9931-8
[8] K. K. Rao, “Foraminiferal Fauna from the Cochin Back Waters: Biological Indicators of Man-Made Changes in the Environment,” Journal of Aquatic Biology, Vol. 11, 1996, pp. 9-16.
[9] V. Yanko, M. Ahmad and M. Kaminiski, “Morphological Deformities of Benthic Foraminiferal Tests in Response to Pollution by Heavy Metals: Implications for Pollution Monitoring,” Journal of Foraminiferal Research, Vol. 28, No. 3, 1998, pp. 177-200.
[10] G. N. Nayak, “Impact of Mining on Environment in Goa,” International Publications, New Delhi, 2002.
[11] R. Nigam, G. N. Nayak and S. Naik, “Does Mining Pollution Effect the Foraminiferal Distribution in Mandovi Estuary, Goa, India?” Revve de Paleobiologie, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2002, pp. 673-677.
[12] R. Nigam, R. Panchang and P. Banerjee, “Foraminifera in Surface Sediments of Mandovi River Estuary: Indicators for Mining Pollution and High Sea Stand in Goa, India,” Journal of Coastal Research, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2005, pp. 853-859. doi:10.2112/03-0061.1
[13] A. Pascual, J. Rodriguez-Lazaro, O. Weber and J. M. Jouanneau, “Late Holocene Pollution in the Gernika Estuary (Southern Bay of Biscay) Evidenced by the Study of Foraminifera and Ostracoda,” Hydrobiologia, Vol. 475/476, No. 1, 2002, pp. 477-491. doi:10.1023/A:1020316231441
[14] R. Panchang , R. Nigam , N. Baig and G. N. Nayak, “A Foraminiferal Testimony for the Reduced Adverse Effects of Mining in Zuari Estuary, Goa,” International Journal of Environmental Studies, Vol. 62, No.5, 2005, pp. 579-591. doi:10.1080/00207230500241801
[15] B. C. Sundara Raja Reddy, “Estuarine Pollution Signatures on the Benthic Foraminifera: A Study from Nellore Coast,” Unpublished Ph. D Thesis Submitted S. V. University, Tiurpati, AP, 2007.
[16] N. Jayaraju, I. Suryakumar and K. R. Reddi “Foraminiferal Species Densities and Environmental Variables of Pulicat Lake, Southeast Coast of India,” Journal Geological Society of India, Vol. 70, No. 5, 2007, pp. 829-836.
[17] A. R. Loeblich and H. Tappan, “Foraminiferal Genera and Their Classification,” Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1987.
[18] I. J. Holopainen, A.L.Holopainen, H. Hamalainen, M. Rahkola-Sorsa, V. Tkatcheva and M. Viljanen, “Effects of Mining Industry Waste Waters on a Shallow Lake Ecosystem in Karelia, North – West Russia,” Hydrobiologia, Vol. 506, No. 1-3, 2003, pp. 111-119. doi:10.1023/B:HYDR.0000008554.28228.14
[19] M. A. G. Khan and S. H. Chowdhary, “Physical and Chemical Limnology of Lake Kaptai. Bangladesh,” Tropical Ecology, Vol. 35, No. 11, 1994, pp. 35-51.
[20] L. R. Bhatt, P. Lacoul, H. D. Lekhak and P. K. Jha, “Physicochemical Characteristics and Phytoplanktons of Tandaha Lake, Katmandu,” Pollution Research, Vol. 18, 1999, pp. 353-358.
[21] P. Ajay singh, S. Prakash and P. Srivastava, “Relationships of Heavy Metals in Natural Lake Waters with Physicochemical Characteristics of Waters and Different Chemical Feractions of Metals in Sediments,” Water Air Soil Pollution, Vol.188, 2008, pp. 181-193. doi:10.1007/s11270-007-9534-6
[22] H. Ramadan Abu-Zied, W. Kevin Keatings and J. Roger Flower, “Environmental Controls on Foraminifera in Lake Qurun Egypt,” Journal of Foraminiferal Research, Vol. 37, No. 2, 2007, pp. 136-149. doi:10.2113/gsjfr.37.2.136
[23] R. J. Diaz, “Pollution and Tidal Benthic Communities of the James River Estuary, Virginia,” Hydrobiologia, Vol. 180, No. 1, 1989, pp. 195-211. doi:10.1007/BF00027553
[24] P. M. Chapman , E. A. Power and G. A. Burton Jr., “Integrative Assessments in Aquatic Ecosystems in G. A. Burton (Ed), Sediment Toxicity Assessment, Boca Raton,” Lewis Publishers, Florida, 1992.
[25] M. C. Watzin, A. W. McIntosh, E. A. Brown, R. Lacey, D. C. Lester, K. L. Newbrough and A. R.Williams, “Assessing Sediment Quality in Highly Heterogeneous Environments: A Case Study of a Small Urban Harbor in Lake Champlain,” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 16, 1997, pp. 2125-2135.
[26] E. Alve, “Colonization of New Habitats by Benthic Foraminifera: A Review,” Earth - Science Reviews, Vol. 46, No. 1-4, 1999, pp. 167-185. doi:10.1016/S0012-8252(99)00016-1
[27] Bo Elberling, K. L. Knudsen, P. H. Kristensen and A. Gert, “Applying Foraminiferal Stratigraphy as a Biomarker for Heavy Metal Contamination and Mining Impact in Fjord in West Greenland,” Marine Environmental Research, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2003, pp. 235-256. doi:10.1016/S0141-1136(02)00219-2

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.