Mangrove ecosystems are vulnerable to different types of contamination through various anthropogenic activities which threaten to system and their resident biota. This study aims to evaluate the eight heavy metals (Fe, Cu, Zn, Co, Cr, Ni, Pb and Cd) distribution in the mangrove sediments and their transfer rate in two inhabitant deposit feeder crabs (Macrophthalmus depressus and Austruca sindensis) near Hawks Bay. According to the sediment quality guidelines (SQGs), mangrove sediments were contaminated by Ni, Cu, Cr, Pb and Cd and considered infrequent or frequent adverse effect of these metals on benthic fauna. The significant differences (p <0.05) were observed in Fe, Ni, Cr and Pb concentrations between the sediment and crab species, but only Pb was observed significantly greater in crab species as compared to sediment. The levels of Fe, Zn and Cr were observed significantly higher in M. depressus as compared to A. sindensis, while other metals showed no significant differences between both species and showed similar rates of metal accumulation. Sediment biota accumulation factor (SBAF) showed the values of Cu, Pb and Cd greater than one, indicate the high transfer rate of these metals from sediment to both crab species through active accumulation. Pearson’s correlation analysis showed the dissimilar sources of metals contamination in sediment, whereas, strong inter-elemental correlations were observed in both crab species which indicates the similar source of metal accumulation.
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