Title : Phytoplankton diversity of two different ecological niches in relation to physico-chemical parameters
The ‘Phytoplanktons’, floating or drifting organisms of plant origin, constitute the basis of nutrient cycle of aquatic ecosystem. Being primary producers they play an important role in maintaining the equilibrium between living organisms and environmental variables. Cyanobacteria and other eukaryotic planktonic algae like Dinoflagellates may create massive blooms in eutrophic water bodies throughout the globe, causing harmful algal bloom (HAB). HAB critically alter ecosystems through hypoxia/anoxia, food web efficiencies, stimulation of pathogenic bacteria, or other ecological consequences. However, formation of toxic algal blooms in water bodies depends on variations in nutrient and other physico-chemical parameters. In the present investigation, it was aimed to survey two different water bodies of different ecological niches of Eastern India, such as domestic pond at Serampore (22.8893N, 88.38385E) and manmade water body, Rabindra Sarobar Lake(22.5121N, 88.3637E) for nutrient dynamics study in relation to phytoplankton diversity and bloom formation. Correlation between physicochemical parameters like pH, temperature, pond depth, BOD, COD, DO, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, phosphate, sulphate, alkalinity and the phytoplankton productivity in terms of total chlorophyll content was performed by Pearson’s (r2 value) correlation coefficient to detect bloom formation. The most dominant group recorded in the domestic pond (site I) was Chlorophyceae,but in site II cyanobacteria were predominant. Both the sites showed almost similar temperature variations and light intensities at pre-monsoon (March–May), monsoon (June-July), post-monsoon (Aug-Oct) and winter period (Nov-Feb). The pH of water body of site II was almost same throughout the seasons (ranging from 7.8 – 8.0), whereas it varies in different seasons in site I. The BOD and COD values of each pond vary with climatic conditions – being highest during pre-monsoon and lowest during post-monsoon period. The DO and silica levels were comparatively higher in site II, but ammonia, nitrate and phosphate contents were more at site I. Seasonal changes in phytoplankton diversity in relation to chemical parameters of the study sites would be discussed in detail for early detection of bloom.
Take Away Notes:
• This study shades light on changes in phytoplankton population with biotic and abiotic parameters. The audience will gather knowledge about the ecological condition leading to harmful algal bloom. The planktons are the primary producers of aquatic ecosystem. So presence of non-toxic planktons facilitates pisciculture, whereas toxic blooms are harmful for both fishes and humans. This type of study can give prior information about toxic algal bloom formation.
• This study will be helpful for the researchers working in the field of ecology and ecosystem, as well as it will be beneficial for the common people. Audience can gather knowledge about phytoplankton diversity in artificial water bodies like swimming pools and they can be cautious about the deleterious effects of toxic phytoplanktons on human body.
• They can use the research protocol to study the ponds of their locality and can be able to forecast the water quality of ponds based on phytoplankton diversity.