Variabilities in the community structure of phytoplankton in the upwelled and non-upwelled waters of southeastern Arabian Sea during the early summer monsoon

Twinkle, S ; Thomas, L C ; Padmakumar, K B

Abstract

The community structure of microphytoplankton was assessed along the southeastern Arabian Sea during the early phase of the summer monsoon. The study records an intense coastal upwelling along the southernmost region (off Thiruvananthapuram), which decreased further north. High chlorophyll-a (10.8 mg m-3) and nutrient concentration was recorded in the coastal waters of Thiruvananthapuram. Even though off Mangalore (12° N) and off Goa (15° N) where upwelling was confined to narrow coastal zone, also showed high chlorophyll-a concentration, 3.98 mg m-3 and 6.31 mg m-3, respectively. The upwelled waters were dominated by centric diatoms (Thalassiosira sp.) and the non-upwelled waters (12° N and 15° N) were dominated by dinoflagellates. Microphytoplankton cell density was the highest along off Thiruvananthapuram (4.8×104 cells L-1), with maximum cell density along the coastal waters (1.4×104 cells L-1). Phytoplankton community of upwelled and non-upwelled waters showed significant variations with 60 % similarity between phytoplankton communities of upwelled waters.

Keyword(s)

Diatoms, Microphytoplankton, South Eastern Arabian Sea, Summer monsoon, Upwelling

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