Vol. 2, Issue 4 (2017)
Morpho-anatomical adaptations in some herbs growing near Ulhas River polluted with industrial effluent
Author(s): Shital Gharge, Dr. Geetha Menon
Abstract: Ulhas River in the district of Thane flows across six cities and several small villages before joining the Thane creek. The study investigated the influence of water polluted with industrial effluents on the morphology and anatomy of four herbs selected viz. Alternanthera, Amaranthus, Chenopodium and Eclipta growing in Ambernath MIDC. Physicochemical parameters of the water from the study site analyzed in two seasons, monsoon (August-September) and winter (January-February) revealed higher values of electrical conductivity (512 and 736 s/m), total hardness (118.15 and 169.44mg/L), chloride (90.19 and 103.3 mg/L), sulphate (253.10 and 494.8 mg/L), nitrate-nitrogen (868.8 and 1198 mg/L) and low DO (0.96 and 0.72 mg/L) respectively. Heavy metals like Lead and Zinc content in the water from the study site (SS) were analyzed using ICP-AES and was found to be very high (Pb -31ppm and Zn-1278 ppm). The changes in external morphology and in the anatomical structures of the plants at the site were significant at P < 0.05. In plants from study site features like the appearance of stone cell in the cortical region of both stem and root of Amaranthus, sclerenchymatous cell among the chlorenchyma in the hypodermal region of Chenopodium stem, may indicate the ability of the plants to adapt to the stress in the environment and eventually can act as bioindicator of heavy element load in the environment. Among the four herbs studied Amaranthus spinosus showed greater variation in both morphological and anatomical structures thus indicating best adaptation to the stressful environment.