Phytoplankton biomass in relation to flow dynamics: the case of a tropical river Mahanadi, India

  • Soma Das SarkarEmail author
  • Amiya Kumar Sahoo
  • Pranab Gogoi
  • Rohan Kumar Raman
  • Manas Hoshalli Munivenkatappa
  • Kavita Kumari
  • Bimal Prasanna Mohanty
  • Basanta Kumar Das
Research Article


This present study was conducted to extend our understanding on the relationship between Chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration and hydrological parameters typically flow velocity, environmental variables and trophic state conditions using lotic water as experimental system. River Mahanadi, India was selected as a model for the present study. Based on elevation from mean sea level, twelve sampling sites from Sambalpur to Naraj were grouped into three zones viz. upper zone (71 km), middle zone (142 km) and lower zone (103 km). Carlson Trophic State Index (CTSI) revealed eutrophic state in middle and lower zone and with mesotrophic condition in the upper zone. Along the river stretch, a negative correlation was observed between Chl a concentration and flow velocity at all three zones during post monsoon (r = − 0.15) and monsoon (r = − 0.31). Seasonal study revealed higher Chl a concentration (16.16–283.85 µg l−1) in post-monsoon with recorded mean flow velocity (0.28 ± 0.19 ms−1) as compared to monsoon season with lower Chl a (18.68–232.24 µg l−1) and mean flow velocity (0.54 ± 0.21 ms−1). Among environmental variables, water temperature and pH showed a positive correlation with Chl a. Overall, the findings of this study illustrated the occurrence of higher phytoplankton biomass (quantified as Chl a) during post-monsoon season coincides with low water velocity. The dataset of this work can be implicated for the hydrological and the ecological framework of the tropical river Mahanadi in the Indian Territory.


Chlorophyll a Flow velocity Hydrological factors Mahanadi Trophic index Tropical river 



Authors are grateful to Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi for the financial support provided to carry out the research work under ICAR-CIFRI sub-project REF/ER/12/01/05 (Quantification of environmental flow in selected rivers for sustenance of ecology and fisheries). Technical assistance by Shri, A. K. Barui, former STO is thankfully acknowledged. Authors would also like to acknowledge efforts provided by District Fishery Officers, Department of Fisheries, Govt. of Odisha, all the Fishery officer with team members for their help and cooperation during sample collection. The authors are greatly indebted to Dr. Amit Kumar Sinha, Dept. of Aquaculture and Fisheries, University of Arkansas, Arkansas for his technical inputs to improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

42965_2019_48_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.2 mb)
Supplementary Material 1 (DOCX 1188 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Society for Tropical Ecology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soma Das Sarkar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amiya Kumar Sahoo
    • 1
  • Pranab Gogoi
    • 2
  • Rohan Kumar Raman
    • 1
  • Manas Hoshalli Munivenkatappa
    • 1
    • 3
  • Kavita Kumari
    • 1
  • Bimal Prasanna Mohanty
    • 1
  • Basanta Kumar Das
    • 1
  1. 1.Fishery Resource and Environment Management DivisionICAR - Central Inland Fisheries Research InstituteKolkataIndia
  2. 2.ICAR - Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Kolkata CentreKolkataIndia
  3. 3.ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Regional CentreVishakapatnamIndia

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