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Phytoplankton dynamics and species diversity in a shallow eutrophic, natural mid-altitude lake in Himachal Pradesh (India): role of physicochemical factors

R. Jindal, R.K. Thakur, Uday Bhan Singh, A.S. Ahluwalia
Chemistry in ecology 2014 v.30 no.4 pp. 328-338
Ankistrodesmus falcatus, Arthrospira, Chlamydomonas, Chlorella vulgaris, Eudorina, Euglena, Microcystis aeruginosa, Navicula, Oscillatoria limosa, Oscillatoria princeps, Oxyuris, Scenedesmus, Spirulina, Synedra ulna, World Health Organization, alkalinity, biochemical oxygen demand, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, drinking water, irrigation water, lakes, nitrates, perennials, phytoplankton, pollution control, species diversity, surveys, temperature, India
Rewalsar Lake, a mid-altitude, shallow and recreational water body located in the north-western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh (India) was studied through monthly surveys in two consecutive years (March 2008 to February 2010). Forty-seven species belonging to seven groups of phytoplankton were identified from the lake. Microcystis aeruginosa and Synedra ulna exhibited a perennial habit. Ankistrodesmus falcatus, Chlorella vulgaris, Scenedesmus bijugatus, Chlamydomonas reinhardi, Eudorina elegans, Navicula cuspidate, Synedra ulna, Euglena acus, Euglena oxyuris, Spirulina gomontii, Oscillatoria princeps and Arthrospira khannae were abundant, and Oscillatoria limosa and Microcystis aeruginosa were highly abundant. Twenty-one important criteria were studied, for example, temperature, free carbon dioxide, biochemical oxygen demand, total alkalinity, nitrate, silicate and phosphate, which provide an idea of the portability of water for irrigation and drinking purposes as per the permissible limits given in World Health Organization, Indian Council of Medical Research and Indian Standards Institute standards. Pearson's correlation revealed a significant relationship between physicochemical parameters and different algal groups. Both plankton and chlorophyll a showed a bimodal pattern of fluctuation. High annual mean concentrations of chlorophyll a (mg L ⁻¹) were recorded as 11.44 in 2008–09, and 11.04 in 2009–10. As per the Palmer pollution index, 13 pollution-tolerant algal species with a pollution score of 37 were observed. The Central Pollution Control Board categorised the water at Rewalsar Lake as ‘D–E’.