SEED GERMINATION AND GROWTH OF SOME CULTIVATED AND WILD PLANTS UNDER WASTE WATER FROM LYARI AND MALIR RIVERS
Presently, aquatic pollution is a worldwide problem especially in thickly populated areas. Karachi is the most developed city of Pakistan where a big part of its crop is cultivated by two main rivers; Malir River and Lyari River. This study was conducted to examine the effect of the polluted water of the two rivers on growth of different plant species. Healthy seeds of nine plant species including, Zea mays L., (maize), Helianthus annuus L., (sunflower), Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet.,(abutilon), Phaseolus lunatus L., (lobia), Lens esculenta Moench (masoor), Capsicum annuum L., (chili), Spinacia oleracea L.,(spinach), Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de wit, (lucaena) and Thespesia populnea (L.), Soland. ex Correa (thespesia) were collected and planted in pots. Seeds were treated with seven different treatments including control. The results showed that Malir River waste water was highly lethal for all plants due to the presence of toxic pollutants. Therefore no growth was recorded in any test specimen while Lyari river waste water was less toxic to the plants. The controls (fresh water) of spinach showed maximum percentage germination (100%) in soil. Maximum speed of germination was 55.98, recorded in thespesia in treatment of Lyari mix .The maximum moisture content was 81.54% in case of spinach when treated by Lyari industrial. Organic content was maximum in the case of thespesia treated with Lyari mix and it was 96.6% and maximum minerals contents were found in spinach and chilies and the values were around 35%. In view of the nature of pollution in the rivers the inhabitants of Karachi are likely to get affected due to the mixing of this water with drinking water and consumption in food chain. The response of plants to the use of polluted water in particular Malir River makes it necessary to conduct further study on hazardous elements present in the water.