Abstract
DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF PHYTOPLANKTON IN A TEMPLE POND

K. S. Anila Kumary* and Shilly Elizabath David

ABSTRACT

Phytoplankton development and community structure formation are closely related to some environmental factors. Fortnightly observations on the distribution and abundance of phytoplankton were made in the temple pond (Valiyakulam) of the famous Subramanyaswami temple, Harippad, Kerala during the post and pre-monsoon period. The study evaluated the impact of abiotic factors on the qualitative and quantitative abundance of phytoplankton in the pond. Water quality characteristics analyzed in the study were temperature, total alkalinity, total hardness, carbondioxide, dissolved oxygen and nutrients nitrate and phosphate. The density of phytoplankton ranged from 1872 to 18424 cells L-1. The cell count was highest during the post-monsoon months compared to pre-monsoon. Qualitatively 15 genera of phytoplankton belonging to 4 classes were identified in the pond. Bacillariophyceae were the predominant class of phytoplankton followed by chlorophyceae. Green and blue green algal density was found to flourish when temperature was high and the density of diatoms when the temperature was moderate during the post-monsoon months. Climatic variations and nutrient availability determine the progressive rearrangement of phytoplankton communities. With slight differences the same functional groups characterizes the phytoplankton community of the pond during the post as well as pre-monsoon months.

Keywords: Freshwater, Temple pond, Kerala, Phytoplankton.


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