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Impact of industrial effluents on growth of dominant tree species of Islamabad, Pakistan

Muhammad Fahd Bhatti, Muhammad Irfan Ashraf, Zanab Masoom and Sabeeqa Usman Malik

Heavy industrialization has resulted in water pollution and environmental degradation. Ever-increasing pollution adversely affected living organisms on the Earth. The present study was focused on analyzing industrial effluents originating from industrial estate Islamabad (the capital city of Pakistan). Dominant tree-species of Islamabad such as Acacia modesta, Grevillea robusta, Bauhinia variegate (L.), Cassia fistula (L.), Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth., Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels, Terminalia arjuna (Roxburgh), Pongamia pinnata (L.), and Melia azedarach (L.) were selected to examine the tolerance of these tree-species against industrial effluents. One year old uniform saplings of nine selected species were transplanted into soil filled polythene tubes for the experiment. The collected samples of effluents were analyzed for water quality parameters such as electrical conductivity, pH, total dissolved solids, and heavy metals concentration. The pH of effluent sample was low (acidic) whereas electrical conductivity and total dissolved solids were higher than described FAO standards for irrigation water. Results also indicated higher concentration of heavy metals (Mn, Pb, Cr, Zn, Cd, Ni and Mg) in the industrial effluents. Saplings were irrigated with assorted water treatments and their effects on shoot and leaf growth was observed. Analysis of the data indicated decline in growth of all tree species irrigated with effluent based treatments. However, Acacia modesta, Albizia lebbeck, Melia azedarach, Syzygium cumini, and Terminalia arjuna relatively performed better and showed tolerance against industrial effluents.

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