Annals of Environmental Science
Volume 6, June 2012, Pages 13-28
www.aes.northeastern.edu, ISSN 1939-2621
Spatial Variation in Phytoplankton Diversity in the Sabarmati River at Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Rita. N. Kumar, Rajal Solanki and Nirmal J.I. Kumar, Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences, N.V. Patel College of Pure & Applied Sciences, Vallabh Vidyanagar; P.G. Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Institute of Science & Technology for Advanced Studies & Research (ISTAR), Vallabh Vidyanagar – 388 120, Gujarat, India.
Received February 7, 2012; in final form May 21, 2012; accepted May 23, 2012.
Biological assessment is a useful alternative for rating the ecological quality of aquatic ecosystems since biological communities integrate the environmental effects of water chemistry. Phytoplankton are assemblages of heterogeneous microscopic algal forms whose movement is more or less dependent upon water currents. To know the nature of species composition of phytoplankton and their significance, the present observations were made for a period of twelve months in the Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad, India from three selected sites, i.e. upstream (site 1), midstream (site 2) and downstream (site 3). The study revealed the occurrence of 48 species of phyto-plankton; among these, 21 species of Chlorophyceae, 13 species of Bacillariophyceae, 11 species of Cyanophyceae and 3 species of Euglenophyceae were recorded. The algal flora of polluted water bodies showed the dominance of blue green algae and diatoms like Oscillatoria, Anabaena, Microcystis, Navicula, Nitzschia, Synedra, Gomphonema through-out the investigation. Many green algae like Eudorina, Scenedesmus, Stigeoclonium and Ankistrodesmus also occurred abundantly and frequently. Various indices such as Palmer’s, Nygaard’s and Shannon’s biotic indices have been used for the assessment of diversity of phytoplankton. The calculated Palmer’s values of sites 1 to 3 were 16, 35 and 41 respectively. Shannon-Weaver species diversity index (H’) values for the three sites were S1: 2.04; S2:1.41; and S3: 1.16. The Nygaard’s indices value showed oligotrophic nature of the water at S-1, while a eutrophic nature of fresh water was observed at S-2 and S-3.