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Spatiotemporal distribution and composition of phytoplankton assemblages in a coastal tropical lagoon: Chilika, India

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Abstract

The Asia’s largest lagoon, Chilika, is a shallow water estuary and a designated “Ramsar” site located in the east coast of India. The spatiotemporal diversity of phytoplankton based on the monthly sampling between July 2011 and June 2012 was investigated in relation to physicochemical variables of the surface water column from 13 stations. The salinity was minimum (average 9) during the monsoon which was primarily due to riverine discharge. As the season progressed towards post-monsoon, average salinity of the whole lagoon reached to 10 which further increased to 20 during pre-monsoon season. A total of 259 species of phytoplankton, mostly dominated by the Bacillariophyta (138 species) followed by Dinophyta (38 species), Chlorophyta (32 species), Cyanophyta (29 species), Euglenophyta (18 species), and Chrysophyta (4 species), were recorded in this study. Different ecological sectors of the lagoon (except the northern sector) were dominated by diatoms, while the northern sector due to its freshwater regime supported large population of euglenoids. Based on the multivariate ordination analysis, salinity regime and light availability played important role in determining the distribution, diversity, and composition of phytoplankton communities. Overall, this study documented a very high diversity of phytoplankton and highlighted the importance of taking extensive sampling in getting a clearer understanding of phytoplankton community structure in less-studied environments such as Chilika lagoon.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the funding support received from the World Bank through the State Project Management Unit (SPMU) of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) of Odisha. The technical help extended by the Korean National Long-Term Ecological Research (KNLTER) National Institute of Ecology is also appreciated. Authors are thankful to Mr. Bibhuti Bhusan Dora, Research Fellow of the Modeling and GIS Cell for the preparation of sampling station map. The staff of the CDA is acknowledged for their generous help in sampling. We are also thankful to the anonymous reviewers for their suggestions in improving the quality of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Gurdeep Rastogi.

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Supp. Fig. 1

Temporal variation in phytoplankton biomass. Each point represents monthly average value of data collected from 13 stations of the lagoon. Error bars represents standard deviation. (TIFF 99 kb)

Supp. Fig. 2

Temporal variations in phytoplankton species numbers in Chilika lagoon. (TIFF 80 kb)

Supp. Table 1

The list of phytoplankton species in Chilika lagoon (2011.07-2012.06). Footnote: The phytoplankton species that have been highlighted in bold denotes past record from Chilika lagoon and confirmed by thorough perusal of literature (Devasundaram and Roy 1954; Patnaik and Sarkar 1976; Rath and Adhikary 2005, 2008; Panigrahi et al. 2009; Mohanty and Adhikary 2013). (DOCX 33 kb)

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Srichandan, S., Kim, J.Y., Bhadury, P. et al. Spatiotemporal distribution and composition of phytoplankton assemblages in a coastal tropical lagoon: Chilika, India. Environ Monit Assess 187, 47 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-014-4212-9

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