Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.16, Issue 3, 2010; Page No.(333-339)

ECOLOGY OF A MARSH IN CHATLA FLOODPLAIN, BARAK VALLEY, NORTH-EAST INDIA

Hafsa Sultana Laskar and Susmita Gupta

Abstract

An investigation was carried out on the ecology of a marsh of Chatla floodplain, Barak Valley, North-East India with reference to phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrophytes and physico-chemical properties of water. A total of 31 plankton species were encountered in the system. Phytoplankton community was represented by Chlorophyceae (7), Cyanophyceae (3), Bacillariophyceae (6) and Euglenophyceae (1). Zooplankton community index was represented by Cladocera (3), Rotifera (2), Copepoda (5), Brachiopoda (2), Rhizopoda (1) and Ostracoda (1). Study revealed that diversity indices viz. Shannon-Wiener diversity Index (H/), and evenness J/ were found to be higher in phytoplankton community than that of zooplankton community whereas Berger-Parker Index of dominance-DBP was found to be highest in macrophytes. All total 19 taxa of macrophytes were recorded in the system. Some of the dominant macrophytes encountered were Trapa sp., Cyperus compressus, Vetiveria zizanoides, Pistea sp., Nymphaea sp., Juncus sp., Cynodon dactylon, Hydrilla etc. Physico-chemical characteristics of water such as water temperature, DO (dissolved oxygen), total alkalinity, pH, free CO2, chloride, total hardness. BOD (biochemical oxygen demand), NO3, PO4, NH3, Na, K etc. were estimated by standard methods. Phytoplankton density showed highly significant positive correlation with total hardness (r=0.67, p<0.05) and nitrate (r=0.72, p<0.01). The density of zooplankton (r= -0.72, p<0.05) and macrophytes (r=-0.85, p<0.01) showed significant negative correlation with pH. The study also revealed significant positive correlation of macrophytes with phyto and zooplankton. The diversity, density and distribution of plankton in different sites have been discussed in the light of physico-chemical properties of water and macrophytic vegetation of the marsh.

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