Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 51 Issue 1
Vertical distribution of microphytobenthos in Cochin estuary
M. G. Sanilkumar, A.V. Saramma and K. J. Joseph
Abstract
Microphytobenthos or benthic microalgae are recognised as the dominant flora in the littoral zone,estuaries and other shallow aquatic ecosystems. A preliminary study on the vertical distribution of microphytobenthos was carried out for a period of 13 months (2005-2006) at a selected station in Cochin estuary. Their distribution, biomass as chlorophyll a and community structure were investigated. Microphytobenthos included 27 species of diatoms and 5 species of blue-green algae. Pennate diatom,Amphora turgida Gregory, is a new distributional record from India. Both qualitative and quantitative distributions of flora along the vertical zone upto a depth of 5 cm were studied. During monsoon months, benthic chlorophyll a was lower than that of the planktonic counter part and was higher during late postmonsoon and premonsoon. The planktonic and benthic chlorophyll a showed lowest concentrations during June-July. The ratio of phaeopigment to chlorophyll a was found to be < 0.3 indicating an actively growing microflora with very low grazing pressure.
Keywords
Microphytobenthos, vertical distribution, Cochin estuary
Date : 01-09-2009