Mangrove ecosystem of Indus delta is degrading at an alarming rate due to multiple threats including human activities and the environmental pollution that are the most significant threats among them. This study focuses on the physico-chemical characteristics in the mangroves of north western part of the Indus delta and the effect of pollution on these characteristics. Particular, attention is paid on population structure of the predominant mangrove species Avicennia marina. Comparison was done between polluted and anthropogenically stressed Sites 1, 2, 3 (Rehdri creek) and unpolluted sites 4, 5 and 6 (Shah Bunder) were studied. Higher silt fraction was found in Rehdri, whereas greater clay component was found in Shah Bunder. Soil organic matter ranged between 10.9 to 12.4 % in the polluted sites while in the unpolluted sites it ranged between 4.89‑8.26%. pH and salinity were both higher in the unpolluted sites at Shah Bunder. The nutrients and pollutant levels were higher in polluted area, e.g. the maximum TKN recorded was 7.86±1.47 while it was as low as 0.035±0.01 in the unpolluted locality. BOD and COD were also higher in the creeks of polluted mangroves than in the unpolluted area. The difference in characteristics of the two sites was obvious in cluster analysis and in the PCA ordination. The growth of the monospecific stands of Avicennia marina is higher at Rehdri; is due to nutrient dumping from the cattle colony effluent; comparing with Shah Bunder which has a sparse vegetation, lesser tree density and smaller average DBH, which may be due to lower level of nutrients and/or interspecific competition. Greater number of individuals in smaller size classes showed ample recruitment. Absence of certain size-classes in unpolluted sites could be attributed to illegal harvesting of larger mangrove trees. Types of stresses in both the localities are different and are a cause of concern for the conservationists.
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