Phytoplankton and zooplankton of some paddy-cum-prawn culture fields in and around Cochin

T.C. Gopalakrishnan, C.B.L. Devi, P.N. Aravindakshan, K.K.C. Nair, T. Balasubramanian, M.K. Kutty


The phytoplankton and zooplankton from the paddy-cum-prawn culture fields from 4 areas in and around the Cochin backwaters were studied. Total phytoplankton counts in the seasonal and perennial fields in all the areas showed good similarity with maximum during the monsoon period but with considerable fluctuation in abundance. Highest average count of 4617 cells/l with minimum fluctuation was observed in the seasonal fields in area 2. The high concentration of nutrients in these fields, did not appear to exert any adverse effect on phytoplankton since maximum number of genera and uniform abundance were observed here. Zooplankton counts in all the areas were generally low. Quantitative and qualitative aspects of phytoplankton and zooplankton in the 4 areas showed that the striking regional differences in salinity and nutrient concentrations have not exerted appreciable effect on them to demarcate these regions on the basis of such differences. The study also indicates that the cause for the variations in the tertiary production, especially of prawns in the different regions cannot be ascribed to excess nutrient concentrations either directly or by affecting primary and secondary production


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