Effect of Heavy Metals on the Growth of Total Phytoplankton Load

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Environmental Sciences, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka- 1342, Bangladesh


The experiment was performed to evaluate effect of heavy metals on total phytoplankton load (TPL) using water of Turag River adjacent to Ashulia locating on the north-eastern side of Dhaka city, Bangladesh. Total phytoplankton load comprises of Euglena sp., Borodinella sp., Pediastrum biradiatum, Pinnularia sp., Fragillaria sp., Fragillaria crotonensis, Gloeocapsa sp., Navicula sp., Cynedra sp., Crucigenia sp., Chlorella sp., Spirogyra sp., Phacus acuminatus, Phacus circulatus., Nitzschia sp. and Nitzschia clausii. Phytoplankton load showed the abundances Bascillariophyceae (43.75%) > Chlorophyceae (37.50%) > Euglenophyceae (18.75%). The average maximum growth rate (log transformed) of TPL in control culture was -0.25μg/l and treated cultures using 1ppm, 3ppm, 5ppm, 7ppm concentration of heavy metals (Zn and Cu) were 0.03 μg/l, 0.03 μg/l, -0.11 μg/l and -0.26 μg/l, respectively. In treated culture using 1ppm concentration of heavy metals (Zn and Cu) the growth rate of phytoplankton load increased significantly whereas the growth rate decreased at higher concentrations (3ppm, 5ppm and 7ppm) of heavy metals. The implication of this finding can be used to monitor health of riverine ecosystems and management of river pollution.


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