CORRELATION BETWEEN NUTRIENT LEVELS AND PHYTOPLANKTON POPULATION IN A NATURAL WATER-BODYO. SUDHAKAR , G. VENUGOPAL , J. P. GEORGE AND P. NEELA RANI
The present study was conducted in Powai Lake, Mumbai. Concentrations of nutrients namely nitrites, nitrates, phosphates and silicates were recorded. During the study period the nitrites concentration was found to be 0.0241 (± 0.0082) mg/L, while the mean nitrate levels were found to be 0.310 (± 0.077) mg/L. The mean levels of phosphate and silicate during the study period were found to be 0.362 (± 0.076) mg/L and 25.467 (± 2.422) mg/L respectively. The nutrient levels indicate that the lake is eutrophic. A total of 19 species of phytoplankton were observed in the samples collected from the water body. Among the phytoplankton, the most abundant group was Cyanophyceae, which accounted on an average 51.75 (± 5.61), while the second abundant group Euglenophyceae contributed 38.54 (± 4.03) % on an average and this followed by Chlorophyceae with a contribution of 5.17 (±1.09) %. The least abundant group, bacillariophyceae had contributed on an average 4.54 (±0.86) % to the total phytoplankton. Pearson Coefficient of Correlation has been worked out for nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton populations. The results reveal that a strong correlation exist between nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton population in this natural freshwater body.
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