Sedimentary organic matter composition from tropical ports with distinct geographic and morpho-hydrodynamic characteristics: Evaluation through multiple biochemical markers
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Increasing coastal urbanization and shipping activity-related environmental pollution advocate the importance of assessment of port ecosystems. Fatty acid biomarkers, elemental components, and biopolymers were used to evaluate the composition of sedimentary organic matter and benthic trophic status of Kolkata (freshwater, enclosed docks) and Kandla (seawater, macrotidal) ports of India. The sediment fatty acid composition indicated relatively fresh and energy-rich organic matter of phytoplankton and bacterial origin inside Kolkata port than the outside riverine station and Kandla port. Biopolymeric carbon (BPC), used as an indicator of trophic status, revealed eutrophic condition in Kolkata port with high accumulation of organic matter of autochthonous origin, attributed to poor water flushing and input of anthropogenic wastes. In contrast, Kandla port was meso-oligotrophic, rich in bacteria, and terrestrial plant-derived materials. Such an assessment of ports� trophic status helps to evaluate the health of the ecosystem and in management practices.
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