Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 643–657 | Cite as

Limnology and cyanobacterial diversity of high altitude lakes of Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, India

  • Y Singh
  • J I S KhattarEmail author
  • D P Singh
  • P Rahi
  • A Gulati


Limnological data of four high altitude lakes from the cold desert region of Himachal Pradesh, India, has been correlated with cyanobacterial diversity. Physico-chemical characteristics and nutrient contents of the studied lakes revealed that Sissu Lake is mesotrophic while Chandra Tal, Suraj Tal and Deepak Tal are ultra-oligotrophic. Based on morphology and 16S rRNA gene sequence, a total of 20 cyanobacterial species belonging to 11 genera were identified. Canonical correspondence analysis distinguished three groups of species with respect to their occurrence and nutrient/physical environment demand. The first group, which included Nostoc linckia, N. punctiforme, Nodularia sphaerocarpa, Geitlerinema acutissimum, Limnothrix redekii, Planktothrix agardhii and Plank. clathrata, was characteristic of water with high nutrient content and high temperature. The second group, including Gloeocapsopsis pleurocapsoides, Leptolyngbya antarctica, L. frigida, Pseudanabaena frigida and N. spongiaeforme, occurred in oligotrophic water with high pH and low temperature. The distribution of third group of Cyanobium parvum, Synechocystis pevalekii, L. benthonica, L. foveolarum, L. lurida, L. valderiana, Phormidium autumnale and P. chalybeum could not be associated with a particular environmental condition because of their presence in all sampling sites.


Canonical correspondence analysis cold desert cyanobacterial diversity high altitude lakes limnology 



The authors are thankful to Head, Department of Botany, Punjabi University, Patiala, and Coordinator, SAP-II of University Grant Commission, New Delhi, for laboratory facilities. Laboratory facilities provided by the Director, CSIR – Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, are also acknowledged. YS thanks the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, for providing financial assistance in the form of Senior Research Fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y Singh
    • 1
  • J I S Khattar
    • 1
    Email author
  • D P Singh
    • 1
  • P Rahi
    • 2
  • A Gulati
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyPunjabi UniversityPatialaIndia
  2. 2.Plant Pathology and Microbiology LaboratoryCSIR – Institute of Himalayan Bioresource TechnologyPalampurIndia

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