Quantification and Visualization of the Variability of Phytoplankton Assemblage in a Semi-lotic Seasonal Canal in Sundarbans, India

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  • ARCHANA SINHA Kolkata Centre of ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Salt Lake City, Kolkata - 700 064, West Bengal, India
  • PRANAB GOGOI Kolkata Centre of ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Salt Lake City, Kolkata - 700 064, West Bengal, India
  • TASSO TAYUNG ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata - 700 120, West Bengal, India
  • SOMA DAS SARKAR ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata - 700 120, West Bengal, India
  • K. LOHIT KUMAR ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata - 700 120, West Bengal, India
  • ARUNAVA MITRA Kolkata Centre of ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Salt Lake City, Kolkata - 700 064, West Bengal, India
  • V. R. SURESH ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - 682 018, Kerala, India
  • BASANT KUMAR DAS ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata - 700 120, West Bengal, India



Assemblages, Canal, Indian Sundarbans, Phytoplankton, Physicochemical


Canals of Sundarbans in India are highly vulnerable to anthropogenic pressures which directly or indirectly impact the biological components of such ecosystems. Being at the base of the trophic pyramid, phytoplankton is exposed to environmental stressors and the impact will be reflected in the upper strata of the aquatic food chain. Hence, phytoplankton communities along with their interrelationship with environmental parameters were assessed in Bhetkimari canal, a semi-lotic system in Indian Sundarbans during June 2017 to September 2018. Seventy-seven species under 66 genera were recorded with Cyanophyceae (34%) as a major contributor, followed by Bacillariophyceae (31%) and Chlorophyceae (22%). Diatoms dominated round the year in terms of diversity (25 species) with maximum contribution from Pennales. ANOVA (post-hoc test) showed significant temporal heterogeneity (p≤0.05) in phytoplankton distribution in the canal. The Margalef richness index (d) and Shannon-Weiner diversity index (H') were 2.59±0.43 and 2.26±0.59, respectively indicating that the environment is good and phytoplankton diversity in the system is moderate. Water temperature, dissolved oxygen, total alkalinity and nutrients (nitrate, silicate and phosphate) were the explanatory variables in shaping the phytoplankton assemblages in the canal, which was evident from Canonical correspondence analysis. The salient findings of this study can add to the existing knowledge on the abundance and distribution pattern of phytoplankton in semi-lotic canal environments, and help in planning better management of canal ecosystems for their sustainable utilization.

Author Biography

  • ARCHANA SINHA, Kolkata Centre of ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Salt Lake City, Kolkata - 700 064, West Bengal, India
    Dr.Archana Sinha 
    Principal Scientist & OIC
    Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute,
    Kolkata Centre,


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How to Cite

SINHA, A., GOGOI, P., TAYUNG, T., SARKAR, S. D., KUMAR, K. L., MITRA, A., SURESH, V. R., & DAS, B. K. (2021). Quantification and Visualization of the Variability of Phytoplankton Assemblage in a Semi-lotic Seasonal Canal in Sundarbans, India. Journal of the Indian Society of Coastal Agricultural Research, 39(2), 206-220. https://doi.org/10.54894/JISCAR.39.2.2021.110537