Response of Aegiceras corniculatum to synthetic sewage under simulated tidal conditions

Yuk Shan Wong, Nora F.Y. Tam, Gui Zhu Chen, Hua Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Young plants of Aegiceras corniculatum, a dominant mangrove species, were collected from Futian Mangrove Swamp in Shenzhen, The People's Republic of China, and grown in simulated tide tanks containing mangrove sediments. After acclimatisation in the greenhouse for 6 months, the plants were irrigated with either synthetic sewage of various strengths (NW, FW and TW) or artificial seawater (as control). NW had the characteristics and strength equivalent to municipal wastewater, while FW and TW contained 5 and 10 times the nutrient and heavy metal concentrations of the NW, respectively. Results showed that the young plants of A. corniculatum were able to tolerate the wastewater (TW) with highest concentration of nutrients and heavy metals after one year treatment. The growth of TW treated plants, measured in terms of stem height, basal diameter and biomass, was comparable to that found in the control. The plants treated with NW and FW had significantly greater growth than the control, indicating that the nutrients contained in sewage are beneficial to mangrove plants. Physiological parameters such as chlorophyll content, the ratio of chlorophyll a and b, proline concentration and root activity did not show any significant changes among plants treated with wastewater of various strengths and the control, suggesting that sewage addition did not cause any apparent physiological impact on growth of A. corniculatum. Nevertheless, the plants which received sewage with highest levels of heavy metals (TW treatment) appeared to have lower content of free water but higher amount of bound water than FW, NW and the control. Higher electric conductance was also found in plants treated with TW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Aegiceras
  • Mangrove plant
  • Pollution
  • Tolerance
  • Wastewater


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