The Mandovi and Chapora are two tropical estuaries lying in close geographic proximity on the west coast of India. Seasonal changes in down core variation of Fe, Mn and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in the mangrove sediments adjoining these estuaries were studied to assess their influence on some of the representative benthic bacteria belonging to heterotrophic and autotrophic groups. Heterotrophic bacteria (HB) cultured on different nutrient concentrations (0.01%, 0.1% and 25%) together with nitrifiers (NtB; representating autotroph) were chosen to assess the influence of the above-mentioned abiotic parameters on the former. The experimental site located along the Mandovi is under the influence of extensive ferromanganese ore mining, while the control site at Chapora is relatively free from such influences. Geoaccumulation index computed for Mandovi showed that sediments (0-10cm) were 'uncontaminated to moderately contaminated' by Fe during the pre monsoon and monsoon seasons, while in the post monsoon season the 4-10cm fraction was almost completely restored from contamination. Similar computations for Mn showed that in pre monsoon, sediments fell in the 'moderately contaminated' and 'moderately to strongly contaminated' categories, while in the monsoon and post monsoon seasons all the sections were 'Uncontaminated'. The difference observed in correlation between Fe and Mn with the various fractions of heterotrophs and nitrifiers indicated that though these two elements shared a similar chemistry in the environment, microbes involved in biogeochemical processes might prefer them differentially. The relationship between TOC and HB enumerated on 0.01% dilute nutrient agar remained at r=0.50, p<0.05 throughout the year. Hence, it could be apparently linked to their preferred concentration of organic carbon requirement. A relationship of r=0.61, p<0.01 between manganese concentration and heterotrophs recovered on different strengths of nutrient agar is suggestive of their response to the metal enrichment. They could thus contribute towards maintaining the level of Mn at par with reference levels at Chapora. A positive correlation between Mn with NtB (n=10, p<0.05, r=0.58) at the experimental site during the non-monsoon months is suggestive of the latter's contribution to regulation of the metal concentration in the sediment probably through anaerobic nitrification at the expense of manganese. The study therefore supports our hypothesis that both autochthonous autotrophs and heterotrophs work in tandem to mitigate concentration of Mn and related metals in mangrove sediments.