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Density of Hydrocarbonoclastic Bacteria and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Accumulation in Iko River Mangrove Ecosystem, Nigeria

Authors: Ime R. Udotong, Samuel I. Eduok, Joseph P. Essien, Basil N. Ita


Sediment and mangrove root samples from Iko River Estuary, Nigeria were analyzed for microbial and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) content. The total heterotrophic bacterial (THB) count ranged from 1.1x107 to 5.1 x107 cfu/g, total fungal (TF) count ranged from 1.0x106 to 2.7x106 cfu/g, total coliform (TC) count ranged from 2.0x104 to 8.0x104cfu/g while hydrocarbon utilizing bacterial (HUB) count ranged from 1.0x 105 to 5.0 x 105cfu/g. There was a range of positive correlation (r = 0.72 to 0.93) between THB count and total HUB count, respectively. The organisms were Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Flavobacterium breve, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Erwinia amylovora, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter sp, Desulfovibrio sp, Acinetobacter iwoffii, Chromobacterium violaceum, Micrococcus sedentarius, Corynebacterium sp, and Pseudomonas putrefaciens. The PAH were Naphthalene, 2-Methylnaphthalene, Acenapthylene, Acenaphthene, Fluorene, Phenanthene, Anthracene, Fluoranthene, Pyrene, Benzo(a)anthracene, Chrysene, Benzo(b)fluoranthene, Benzo(k)fluoranthene, Benzo(a)pyrene, Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, Benzo(g,h,l)perylene ,Indeno(1,2,3-d)pyrene with individual PAH concentrations that ranged from 0.20mg/kg to 1.02mg/kg, 0.20mg/kg to 1.07mg/kg and 0.2mg/kg to 4.43mg/kg in the benthic sediment, epipellic sediment and mangrove roots, respectively. Total PAH ranged from 6.30 to 9.93mg/kg, 6.30 to 9.13mg/kg and 9.66 to 16.68mg/kg in the benthic sediment, epipellic sediment and mangrove roots, respectively. The high concentrations in the mangrove roots are indicative of bioaccumulation of the pollutant in the plant tissue. The microorganisms are of ecological significance and the detectable quantities of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon could be partitioned and accumulated in tissues of infaunal and epifaunal organisms in the study area.

Keywords: Hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria, Iko River estuary, Mangrove, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon.

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