Long-term trend and environmental determinants of phytoplankton biomass in coastal waters of northwestern Bay of Bengal

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The present study is focused on understanding long-term trend in distribution of chlorophyll-a and its association with water quality parameters in coastal waters of northwestern Bay of Bengal. In situ observations were carried out in monthly frequency during January 2009 to March 2017 at two ecologically important study sites, off Gopalpur and off Visakhapatnam. A bimodal distribution of chlorophyll-a was observed off Gopalpur with primary and secondary peak during pre- and post-monsoon, respectively. In contrast, maximum chlorophyll-a concentration was noticed in monsoon irrespective of sporadic higher magnitudes during pre-monsoon in coastal waters off Visakhapatnam. The pivotal role of river influx and coastal upwelling was discerned in enriching coastal waters off Gopalpur with macronutrients and in turn on chlorophyll-a distribution. Adequate availability of silicate signified favorable condition for diatom growth in coastal waters off Gopalpur leading to preponderance. Influence of coastal upwelling and nutrient-controlled growth of phytoplankton was observed in coastal waters off Visakhapatnam.

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The data used in the present study is from SATellite Coastal and Oceanographic Research (SATCORE) project. The authors acknowledge help and support of project fellows for data collection. The authors sincerely acknowledge Director, ESSO-INCOIS and Head, Department of Marine Sciences, Berhampur University, for their support and encouragement. This paper is part of the doctoral work of the first author (Joereen Miranda).

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Miranda, J., Baliarsingh, S.K., Lotliker, A.A. et al. Long-term trend and environmental determinants of phytoplankton biomass in coastal waters of northwestern Bay of Bengal. Environ Monit Assess 192, 55 (2020) doi:10.1007/s10661-019-8033-8

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  • Water quality
  • Nutrient
  • Chlorophyll
  • Monsoon
  • Bay of Bengal