Area reduction and trace element pollution in Nile Delta wetland ecosystems

El-Shazly, M. M., W. A. Omar, Y. U. S. U. F. A. EDMARDASH, and I. E. - S. K. A. I. A. M. Mona Sayed Ibrahim, Emad I. Elzayat, "Area reduction and trace element pollution in Nile Delta wetland ecosystems", African Journal of Ecology, 2016. copy at


The three main Nile Delta wetland ecosystems, Manzala, Burullus and Edku lagoons, are among the most ecologically important and productive habitats in Egypt. We studied the area degradation and the human health risks associated with trace metal accumulation in Tilapia zillii harvested from these lakes. The area of Manzala lagoon has shrunken from about 3035 km2 in 1800 to about 288 km2 in 2015, the area of Edku has shrunken from about 336 km2 in 1824 to about 18 km2 in 2014, and the area of Burullus has shrunken from about 1116 km2 in 1949 to about 546 km2 in 2014. This area degradation is attributed to drying for housing, land reclamation and fish farming. As a result, the concentration of pollutants and nutrients has subsequently increased, and large parts of the lakes have been overgrown with aquatic vegetation, which increased the rate of degradation and land transformation. Metal pollution was detected in water, sediment and edible fish harvested from the lakes. The hazard index, an indicator of human health risks associated with fish consumption, showed adverse health effects of zinc and lead metals for habitual fish consumers. The impact of the high dam on the lakes was discussed.

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