Composition, abundance and ecology of phytoplankton communities of Loktak Lake, Manipur, India

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B.K. Sharma


Phytoplankton communities of Loktak Lake (a Ramsar site), studied during November 2002-October 2004, reveal the occurrence of 75 and 71 species, indicate monthly richness ranging between 47� plus or minus 6 and 49� plus or minus 3 species and record 50.0-83.2 and 64.5-84.0 % community similarities during two annual cycles respectively. Chlorophyta (33� plus or minus 5 and 35� plus or minus 5 species) show qualitative dominance and importance of Closterium > Cosmarium > Staurastrum > Micrasterias > Gonatozygon species. Phytoplankton (206� plus or minus 58 and 220� plus or minus 53 n/l) comprise between 45.1� plus or minus 6.5 and 42.9� plus or minus 5.8 % of net plankton abundance, indicate trimodal annual patterns and record peak abundance during winter. Chlorophyta (111� plus or minus 20 and 119� plus or minus 15 n/l), the dominant quantitative component, indicate winter peaks; Closterium > Staurastrum > Gonatozygon > Micrasterias species contribute significantly to their abundance. Ceratium hirudinella (43� plus or minus 52 and 39� plus or minus 37 n/l) is the sole important individual species of phytoplankton. Dinophyta > Bacillariophyta are sub-dominant groups and Euglenophyta > Cyanophyta > Chrysophyta show very low densities. Phytoplankton communities are characterized by higher species diversity, higher evenness and lower dominance. Abiotic factors register limited influence on richness and abundance of phytoplankton and on abundance of constituent groups. Multiple regression indicates relatively lower influence of fifteen abiotic factors on richness of phytoplankton and higher cumulative influence on abundance of phytoplankton, Chlorophyta, Dinophyta and Bacillariophyta.

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Author Biography

B.K. Sharma

B.K. Sharma is a Professor in Department of Zoology and Dean, School of Life Sciences and is a specialist in the fields of limnology and acquatic biodiversity.