Recent Trends of Ecosystem Health and Biodiversity Status of Pelagic-Benthic Coupled System in Indian Estuaries with Special Emphasis on Hooghly Estuary, India

  • Nabyendu Rakshit
  • Arnab Banerjee
  • Swagata Sinha
  • Santanu RayEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics book series (PROMS, volume 302)


An Ecosystem can be defined as a community of interconnected elements comprising of living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) components of their surrounding environment interacting with each other. Among different types of ecosystems, estuarine system is of interest because the most sensitive land-water-atmosphere interactions are pronounced at these regions. It provides diverse habitat for wide variety of aquatic resources of ecological and economic significance including finfish, prawn, bivalve, gastropod, fiddler crab and plankton and so on. But recent years have seen gradual degradation of estuarine ecosystem, mainly in coastal landscape of India, owing to the different anthropogenic factors such as overfishing, development of agriculture and sewage from aquaculture farms, expansion of human settlements. These hamper the ecological balance affecting the food web of the concerned systems. It may lead to impacts including extinction of species, alternation of species diversity of different trophic levels, declination of mean trophic level within the system and significant habitat modification or destruction. Beside this, it also affects the social and economic wellbeing of the coastal communities. So it is important for us to know about recent trends of Indian estuarine ecosystems biodiversity and their proper sustainable management in future. For this purpose, understanding of how ecosystems are structured and how they function is much necessary and ecosystem health analysis is a more scientific and appropriate approach than any other ecological studies. So, our study emphasizes on three major aspects: (1) current scenario of ecosystem heath and biodiversity of Indian estuaries at both temporal and spatial scales; (2) Importance of Hooghly estuary and associated modelling studies (3) The necessary actions required for improvement of their ecosystem health status.



Author Nabyendu Rakshit acknowledges the University Grants Commission, Govt. of India, for NET-JRF fellowship, Ref. No. 20161430758. Author Arnab Banerjee acknowledges the University Grants Commission, Govt. of India, for providing Dr. D S Kothari Post Doctoral fellowship, F No: BL/17-18/0490.


  1. 1.
    Amin, S.M.N., Rahman, M.A., Haldar, G.C., Mazid, M.A., Milton, D.: Population dynamics and stock assessment of Hilsa shad, Tenualosa ilisha in Bangladesh. Asian Fish. Sci. 15, 123–128 (2002)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anilkumar, N., Sankaranarayanan, V.N., Josanto, V.: Studies on mixing of the waters of different salinity gradients using Richardsons number and the suspended sediment distribution in the Beypore estuary, south west coast of India (1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ansari, Z.A., Parulekar, A.H.: Distribution, abundance and ecology of the meiofauna in a tropical estuary along the west coast of India. Hydrobiologia 262(2), 115–126 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Balakrishna, K., Probst, J.L.: Organic carbon transport and C/N ratio variations in a large tropical river: Godavari as a case study. India. Biogeochem. 73(3), 457–473 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Balli, J.J., Chakraborty, S.K., Jaiswar, A.K.: Population dynamics of Bombay duck Harpadontidae nehereus (Ham, 1822)(Teleostomi/Harpadontidae) from Mumbai waters. India. Indian J. Mar. Sci. 40, 67 (2011)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Biswas, H., Mukhopadhyay, S.K., Sen, S., Jana, T.K.: Spatial and temporal patterns of methane dynamics in the tropical mangrove dominated estuary, NE coast of Bay of Bengal. India J. Marine Syst. 68(1–2), 55–64 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chakraborty, S.K.: Fishery, age, growth and mortality estimates of Trichiurus lepturus Linnaeus from Bombay waters. Indian J. Fish. 37, 1–7 (1990)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chakraborty, S.K., Devadoss, P., Manojkumar, P.P., Feroz Khan, M., Jayasankar, P., Sivakami, S., Gandhi, V., Appanasastry, Y., Raju, A., Livingston, P., Amcer Hamsa, K.M.S., Badruddin, M., Ramalingam, P., Dhareswar, V.M., Seshagirl Rao, C. V, Nandakumaran, K., Chavan, B.B., Seetha, P.K.: The fishery, biology and stock assessment of jew fish resources of India. Mar. Fish. Res. Manag. 604–616 (2000)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ghosh, P.B., Choudhury, A.: Copper, zinc and lead in the sediment of Hooghly estuary. Environment and Ecology 7, 427–430 (1989)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Godhantaraman, N.: Seasonal variations in taxonomic composition, abundance and food web relationship of microzooplankton in estuarine and mangrove waters, Parangipettai region, southeast coast of India (2001)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Goswami, S.C. and Devassy, V.P.: Seasonal fluctuations in the occurrence of Cladocera in the Mandovi-Zuari estuarine waters of Goa (1991)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Halpern, B.S., Walbridge, S., Selkoe, K.A., Kappel, C.V., Micheli, F., D’agrosa, C., Bruno, J.F., Casey, K.S., Ebert, C., Fox, H.E. and Fujita, R., : A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science 319(5865), 948–952 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Harkantra, S.N. and Rodrigues, N.R.: Environmental influences on the species diversity, biomass and population density of soft bottom macrofauna in the estuarine system of Goa, west coast of India (2004)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hazra, S., Ghosh, T., DasGupta, R., Sen, G.: Sea level and associated changes in the Sundarbans. Sci. Cult. 68, 309–321 (2002)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hazra, S., Samanta, K., Mukhopadhyay, A., Akhand, A.: Temporal change detection (2001–2008) of the Sundarban. Unpubl, Report, WWF-India (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kailasam, M., Sivakami, S.: Effect of thermal effluent discharge on benthic fauna off Tuticorin bay, south east coast of India. Jndian Journal of Marine Sciences 33(2), 194–201 (2004)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Karmakar, J.K.: Study on some aspect of biology with special reference to population dynamics of Bhetki; Lates calcarifer (Bolch, 1970). University of Chittagong, Bangladesh (2003)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Khan, M.G., Islam, M.S., Quayum, S.A., Sada, M.N.U., Chowdhury, Z.A.: Biology of the fish and shrimp population expoloited by estuarine set bagnet, in: BOBP Seminar. Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, p. 20 (1992)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Khan, M.Z., Kumaran, M., Jayaprakash, A.A., Scariah, K.S., Deshmukh, V.M., Dhulkhed, M.H.: Stock assessment of pomfrets off west coast of India. Indian J. Fish. 39, 249–259 (1992)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Khan, S., Banu, N., Isabella, B.: Studies on some aspects of the biology and fecundity of Mystus tengra (Hamilton-Buchanan). Bangladesh J. Zool 20, 151–160 (1992)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Krithika, K., Purvaja, R., Ramesh, R.: Fluxes of methane and nitrous oxide from an Indian mangrove. Current Science 218–224 (2008)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kumary, K.A., Azis, P.A., Natarajan, P.: Water quality of the Adimalathura Estuary, southwest coast of India. J. mar. biol. Ass. India 49(1), 01–06 (2007)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kumar, R.S.: Soil macro-invertebrates in a prawn culture field of a tropical estuary. Indian Journal of Fisheries 49(4), 451–455 (2002)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lotze, H.K., Lenihan, H.S., Bourque, B.J., Bradbury, R.H., Cooke, R.G., Kay, M.C., Kidwell, S.M., Kirby, M.X., Peterson, C.H., Jackson, J.B.: Depletion, degradation, and recovery potential of estuaries and coastal seas. Science 312(5781), 1806–1809 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mandal, S., Ray, S., Ghosh, P.B.: Modelling of the contribution of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) from litterfall of adjacent mangrove forest to Hooghly-Matla estuary. India. Ecological Modelling 220(21), 2988–3000 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mitra, P.M., Karmakar, H.C., Ghosh, A.K.: Fisheries of Hooghly-Matlah estuarine system: further appraisal 1994-95 to 1999-2000 (Bulletin no. 109) (2001)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mitra, P.M., Karmakar, H.C., Sinha, M., Ghosh, A., Saigal, B.N.: Fisheries of the Hooghly-Matlah estuarine system-an appraisal (CIFRI Bulletin no. 67) (1997)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mohamed, K.S., Zacharia, P.U., Muthiah, C., Abdurahiman, K.P., Nayek, T.H.: A Trophic Model of the Arabian Sea Ecosystem of Karnatakaand Simulation of Fishery Yields for its Multigear Marine Fisheries. Kerala, India (2005)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Moorthy, K.S.V., Reddy, H.R.V., Annappaswamy, T.S.: Age and growth of blue spot mullet, Valamugil seheli (Forskal) from Mangalore. Indian J. Fish. 50, 73–79 (2003)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Mukherjee, J., Ray, S., Ghosh, P.B.: A system dynamic modeling of carbon cycle from mangrove litter to the adjacent Hooghly estuary, India. Ecological modelling 252, 185–195 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Murugesan, P., Ajmal Khan, S., Ajithkumar, T.T.: Temporal changes in the benthic community structure of the marine zone of Vellar estuary southeast coast of India. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India 49(2), 154–158 (2007)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Nabi, M.R.: Management of Estuarine Set Bag Net Fishery of Bangladesh: Application of Traditional Scientific Methods, Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and Local Indigenous Knowledge. Ph. D. Dissertation, Borneo Marine Research Institute, University Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia (2007)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Nabi, M.R., Hoque, M.A., Rahman, R.A., Mustafa, S., Kader, M.A.: Population dynamics of Polynemus paradiseus from estuarine set bag net fishery of Bangladesh. Chiang Mai J. Sci. 34, 355–365 (2007)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Nandy, A.C., Bagchi, M.M., Majumder, S.K.: Ecological changes in the Hooghly estuary due to water release from Farakka Barrage. Mahasagar 16, 209–220 (1983)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Narasimham, K.A., Kripa, V., Balan, K.: Molluscan shellfish resources of India-an overview. Indian J. Fish. 40, 112–124 (1993)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Naik, S., Acharya, B.C. and Mohapatra, A.: Seasonal variations of phytoplankton in Mahanadi estuary, east coast of India (2009)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Nair, N.B. and Azis, P.A.: Hydrobiology of the Ashtamudi estuary- a tropical backwater system in Kerala (1987)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Nath, D., Misra, R.N., Karmakar, H.C.: The Hooghly estuarine system-ecological flux, fishery resources and production potential, p. 130. Bull. Cent. Inl. Fish. Res, Inst (2004)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Nasnolkar, C.M., Shirodkar, P.V., Singbal, S.Y.S.: Studies on organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in the sediments of Mandovi Estuary. Goa. Oceanographic Literature Review 12(43), 1208 (1996)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Pillay, T.V.R.: Biology of the Hilsa, Hilsa ilisha (Hamilton) of the river Hooghly. Indian J. Fish. 5, 201–257 (1958)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Perumal, N.V., Rajkumar, M., Perumal, P. and Rajasekar, K.T.: Seasonal variations of plankton diversity in the Kaduviyar estuary, Nagapattinam, southeast coast of India (2009)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Prabu, V.A., Rajkumar, M., Perumal, P.: Seasonal variations in physico-chemical characteristics of Pichavaram mangroves, southeast coast of India. J. Environ. Biol 29(6), 945–950 (2008)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Pradhan, U.K., Shirodkar, P.V., Sahu, B.K.: Physico-chemical characteristics of the coastal water off Devi estuary, Orissa and evaluation of its seasonal changes using chemometric techniques. Current Science 1203–1209 (2009)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Pritchard, D.W.: Estuarine classification—a help or a hindrance. In Estuarine circulation (pp. 1-38). Humana Press (1989)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Rajasegar, M., Srinivasan, M. and Khan, S.A.: Distribution of sediment nutrients of Vellar estuary in relation to shrimp farming (2002)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Raje, S.G., Dineshbabu, A.P., DAS, T.: Biology and stock assessment of Tachysurus jella (Day). Indian J. Fish. 55, 295–299 (2008)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ram, A., Rokade, M.A. and Zingde, M.D.: Mercury enrichment in sediments of Amba estuary (2009)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Rangaswamy, C.P.: Maturity and spawning of Mugil cephalus of Lake Pulicat. Recent Res. Estuar. Biol. 47–60 (1975)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Rakshit, N., Banerjee, A., Mukherjee, J., Chakrabarty, M., Borrett, S.R., Ray, S.: Comparative study of food webs from two different time periods of Hooghly Matla estuarine system, India through network analysis. Ecological Modelling 356, 25–37 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Rao, D.S., Rao, M.S., Annapurna, C.: Polychaete community structure of Vasishta Godavari estuary, east coast of India. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India 51(2), 137–144 (2009)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Ray, S.: Comparative study of virgin and reclaimed islands of Sundarban mangrove ecosystem through network analysis. ecological modelling, 215(1-3), pp.207-216 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Reuben, S., Dan, S.S., Somaraju, M.V., Philipose, V., Sathianandan, T.V.: The resources of hilsa shad, Hilsa ilisha (Hamilton), along the northeast coast of India. Indian J. Fish. 39, 169–181 (1992)Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Reuben, S., Vijayakumaran, K., Achayya, P., Prabhakar, R.V.D.: Biology and exploitation of Trichiurus lepturus Linnaeus from Visakhapatnam waters. Indian J. Fish. 44, 101–110 (1997)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Roy, M., Ray, S., Ghosh, P.B.: Modelling of impact of detritus on detritivorous food chain of Sundarban mangrove ecosystem, India. Procedia Environmental Sciences 13, 377–390 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Saha, S.B., Mitra, A., Bhattacharyya, S.B., Choudhury, A.: Status of sediment with special reference to heavy metal pollution of a brackishwater tidal ecosystem in northern Sundarbans of West Bengal. Tropical Ecology 42(1), 127–132 (2001)Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Sanilkumar, M.G., Joseph, K.J. and Saramma, A.V.: Microalgae in the southwest coast of India (Doctoral dissertation, Cochin University of Science & Technology) (2009)Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Sarkar, S.K., Singh, B.N., Choudhury, A.: Composition and variations in the abundance of zooplankton in the Hooghly estuary, West Bengal. India. Proc. Anim. Sci. 95, 125–134 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Sastry, A.G.R. and Chandramohan, P.: Diel and tidal fluctuations in the water quality of Vasishta Godavari estuary (1990)Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Sinha, M.: Farakka barrage and its impact on the hydrology and fishery of Hooghly estuary, in: The Ganges Water Diversion: Environmental Effects and Implications. Springer, pp. 103–124 (2004)Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Smith, B.D., Braulik, G., Strindberg, S., Ahmed, B., Mansur, R.: Abundance of Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) and Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica gangetica) estimated using concurrent counts made by independent teams in waterways of the Sundarbans mangrove forest in Bangladesh. Mar. Mammal Sci. 22, 527–547 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Soundarapandian, P., Premkumar, T., Dinakaran, G.K.: Studies on the physico-chemical characteristic and nutrients in the Uppanar estuary of Cuddalore, South east coast of India. Curr. Res. J. Biol. Sci 1(3), 102–105 (2009)Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Srinath, M., Kuriakose, S., Ammini, P.L., Prasad, C.J., Ramani, K., Beena, M.R.: Marine Fish Landings in India 1985–2004. C. Spec. Publ. 89, 1–161 (2006)Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre and Census of Marine Life on Seamounts (Programme). Data Analysis Working Group.: Seamounts, deep-sea corals and fisheries: vulnerability of deep-sea corals to fishing on seamounts beyond areas of national jurisdiction (No. 183). UNEP/Earthprint (2006)Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    UNFAO.: Statistical Year Book (2012)Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Upadhyay, S.: Physico-chemical characteristics of the Mahanadi estuarine ecosystem, east coast of India. Indian J Mar Sci (1988)Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Valiela, I., Bowen, J.L., York, J.K.: Mangrove Forests: One of the World’s Threatened Major Tropical Environments: At least 35 of the area of mangrove forests has been lost in the past two decades, losses that exceed those for tropical rain forests and coral reefs, two other well-known threatened environments. Bioscience 51(10), 807–815 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Waycott, M., Duarte, C.M., Carruthers, T.J., Orth, R.J., Dennison, W.C., Olyarnik, S., Calladine, A., Fourqurean, J.W., Heck, K.L., Hughes, A.R., Kendrick, G.A.: Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(30), 12377–12381 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Worm, B., Barbier, E.B., Beaumont, N., Duffy, J.E., Folke, C., Halpern, B.S., Jackson, J.B., Lotze, H.K., Micheli, F., Palumbi, S.R. and Sala, E.: Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services. science, 314(5800), pp.787-790 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Zafar, M., Mustafa, M.G., Amin, S.M.N., Akhter, S.: Studies on population dynamics of Acetes indicus from Bangladesh coast. J. Nat. Ocea. Mar. Inst 14, 1–15 (1997)Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Zingde, M.D., Bhosle, N.B., Narvekar, P.V., Desai, B.N.: Hydrography and water quality of Bombay harbour. Society of Biosciences, Muzaffarnagar (1989)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nabyendu Rakshit
    • 1
  • Arnab Banerjee
    • 2
  • Swagata Sinha
    • 1
  • Santanu Ray
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Systems Ecology & Ecological Modelling Laboratory, Department of ZoologyVisva-Bharati UniversitySantiniketanIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Mathematical Biology and Ecology, Department of MathematicsJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations