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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2012 Sep;83:63-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2012.06.001. Epub 2012 Jul 3.

Accumulation and toxic effect of arsenic and other heavy metals in a contaminated area of West Bengal, India, in the lichen Pyxine cocoes (Sw.) Nyl.

Author information

1
Lichenology Laboratory, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow 226001, India. bajpaienviro@gmail.com

Abstract

Ecological indicators can be used to assess the condition of the environment, to provide an early warning signal of changes in the surrounding environment or to diagnose the causes of an environmental problem. The study aims to evaluate the applicability of a common foliose lichen Pyxine cocoes (Sw.) Nyl., as an indicator to evaluate the arsenic and heavy metal rich sites. The naturally growing lichen and its substratum (bark) were utilized to biomonitor the accumulation of arsenic (As) and other heavy metals (Al, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Pb and Zn) in Chinsurah, a highly As contaminated area of West Bengal. Significantly higher levels of Al, Cr, Fe, Pb and Zn (p<0.01), Cd and Cu (p<0.05) were found in the lichens especially in samples collected from road sites. Higher As concentration (48.1±2.1 μg g(-1)) in samples were found near the paddy field, indicating pesticide-herbicides as its source used in agriculture. The substrate exhibits lower concentration of most of the metals while Cr, Cd and Pb were below detection limit. As evident from the bioaccumulation factor most of the metals accumulated in lichen thallus are air borne. Chl a and Chl b concentrations decreased significantly with increasing distance from roadside whereas the carotenoid and protein showed an enhanced level. The chlorophyll stability index, chlorophyll degradation and carotenoid contents were found to be the most sensitive parameters to assess the vitality of lichen thallus against changing environment.

PMID:
22762786
DOI:
10.1016/j.ecoenv.2012.06.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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