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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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        Abstract - Issue July 2009, 30 (4)                                                                                                             Back


Phytoplankton diversity in Pichavaram mangrove waters from south-east coast of India


M. Rajkumar, P. Perumal, V. Ashok Prabu, N. Vengadesh Perumal and K. Thillai Rajasekar

Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, Parangipettai - 608 502, India

(Received: April 24, 2007; Revised received: November 25, 2007; Accepted: February 02, 2008)


Abstract: The results of an investigation carried out during September 2002 to August 2003 on hydrography, composition and community structure of phytoplankton including chlorophyll a (Chl-a) content and primary productivity (PP) of the Pichavaram mangrove (South-east coast of India) are reported. Atmospheric and surface water temperatures varied from 30.0 to 34.8oC and from 29.7 to 34.2oC respectively while the light extinction coefficient values (LEC) (K) ranged between 3.2 and 14.9. Salinity values varied from 9.6 to 35.4 and the pH ranged between 7.2 and 8.6. Variation in dissolved oxygen content was from 3.2 to 6.5 ml l-1. The ranges of inorganic nutrients viz., nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and silicate were: 7-36.23, 0.31-5.46, 0.28-3.70 and 12.26-56.64 mM respectively. Chlorophyll a content ranged between 0.20 and 105.60 g l-1 and the ranges of gross and net primary productivities (PP) were: 16.54-826.8 and 11.52-610.2 mg C m-3 hr-1respectively. Presently a total of 94 species of phytoplankton were identified. Among these, the diatoms formed predominant group. Population density of phytoplankton varied from 400 to 3,21,000 cells-1. While the peak diversity (5.23 bits / ind.) of the phytoplankton was observed during summer season, the maximum population density was found during summer season coinciding with the stable hydrographical conditions.

Key words: Nutrients, Primary production, Phytoplankton, Pichavaram, Mangroves

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