Comparative account on zooplankton in polluted and unpolluted estuaries of Gujarat

B.N. Desai, S.N. Gajbhiye, M.J. Ram, V.R. Nair


An assessment of the zooplankton biomass and composition in Kolak, Par, Damanganga and Auranga estuaries was made. Among these four rivers pollution is severe in the first two, moderate in Damanganga and good water quality prevailed in Auranga. The extent of variability in the distribution of zooplankton was in accordance with the intensity of pollution. In the unpolluted estuary zooplankton biomass varied from 1.8 to 10.06 ml/100 m(to the power 3) and mean secondary production amounted to 80 mg C/100 m(to the power 3) /day. The intensely polluted estuaries are characterised by wide fluctuations in zooplankton biomass during the ebb and flood periods. The flood conditions sustained 1.8 to 4.4 times' higher biomass than the ebb conditions. Mean rates of secondary production in these estuaries were 138 mg C/100 m(to the power 3)/day (Par) and 265 mg C/100 m(to the power 3)/day (Kolak). In the moderately polluted estuary the rate of secondary production was 109 mg C/100 m(to the power 3)/day. Dominance of zooplankton groups varied with level of pollution in the unpolluted estuary invariably copepods were predominant. In the polluted estuaries during ebb tide gastropods, mysids and polychaetes formed the major part of the zooplankton. Diversity of different groups of zooplankton was relatively low in polluted estuaries


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