An intensive short term study on interaction between phytoplankton communities and rapidly deteriorating pond ecosystems from Thiruvallur District, Tamilnadu, India


Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
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Doi: 10.1007/s42535-021-00246-6
First Page: 909
Last Page: 918
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Keywords: Biodiversity, Freshwater ponds, Microalgae, Indicator species, Anthropogenic, Ecology


The systematic study was conducted to explore the biodiversity of microalgae and benefits as a source of bio indicator in major freshwater pond ecosystems of Chennai (12.15′ N, 79.15′ E) Tamil Nadu, India. These ponds serve as a major source of groundwater, which is prone to anthropogenic activities. Thus, documentation of phytoplankton distribution and its relationship with the physico-chemical parameters will help us better comprehend the ecosystem and implement necessary conservation strategies. Overall 97 species were documented from the four sampling stations which includes Chlorophyceae (62%), Cyanophyceae (21%), Bacillariophyceae (14%), and Euglenineae (3%). Shannon Wiener’s (H’) index ranged from 3.55 to 3.81 and species evenness was found to be between 0.73 and 0.83 (J’). The abundance of Chlorococcum macrostigmatum was recorded to be high (22.75 × 102 Cells L−1) and the least was Pediastrum duplex var. subgranulatum (1.25 × 102 Cells L−1). Pearson’s correlation coefficient revealed a positive correlation of Bacillariophyceae members with Chlorophyceae. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) was carried out to study the relationship between the species distribution and environmental variables. Among all the algal species studied, Scenedesmus acunae and Merismopedia tenuissima were found to be strong indicators of increased phosphate. Leptolyngbya polysiphonae and Phormidium uncinatum indicated increased BOD concentration. However major indicator species varied within the ponds. Water quality condition was found to change from mesotrophic to eutrophic condition. The results also suggested that strong precautions must be taken to conserve these habitats from future anthropogenic activities as there is already a massive threat to freshwater in Chennai and Thiruvallur region.

Biodiversity, Freshwater ponds, Microalgae, Indicator species, Anthropogenic, Ecology

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The authors thank the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Govt. of India for financial assistance through the All India Coordinated Project on Taxonomy (AICOPTAX) of freshwater planktonic algae, No. J. 22018/20/2016-CSC (TAX). We also thank The Director, Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, University of Madras, for providing laboratory facilities.

Author Information

Joseph Sagaya John Paul
Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai, India

Subramani Nagaraj
Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai, India