The effects of the flood cycle on the diversity and composition of the phytoplankton community of a seasonally flooded Ramsar wetland in Bangladesh

Sabir B. Muzaffar, Fakhruddin A. Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Freshwater wetlands in Bangladesh are strongly influenced by the monsoons and the annual flood cycle has measurable impacts on the abiotic and biotic components of these ecosystems. The northeastern Haor Basin of Bangladesh is particularly rich in seasonally flooded freshwater wetlands that support a wide diversity of flora and fauna. These wetlands are of great importance to the local economy due to the abundance of rich floodplain fisheries. Little is known about the phytoplankton communities of these wetlands that are known to be linked with zooplankton and fish productivity. We investigated the seasonal variation in the diversity and abundance of phytoplankton assemblages in Tanguar Haor, a Ramsar wetland in northeastern Bangladesh during the period of inundation (June-December). A total of 107 genera of phytoplankton representing five classes were recorded. Blooms of Microcystis dominated the phytoplankton community throughout the study period but were particularly acute during the early part of the high water period. Among the Bacillariophyceae, Melosira was the most dominant, reaching bloom proportions early in the high water period. Factor analysis of physicochemical variables separated the flood cycle into four distinct periods: early high water, mid high water, late high water and low water periods. Phase of the flood cycle, nutrient availability, the physicochemical variables combined with the dominance of Microcystis seemed to be important in controlling the abundance, diversity and dynamics of the phytoplankton genera. The abundance of genera of desmids and some Bacillariophyceae is indicative of the relatively unpolluted conditions of Tanguar Haor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalWetlands Ecology and Management
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bangladesh
  • Freshwater wetland
  • Haor Basin
  • Phytoplankton
  • Ramsar Site
  • Tanguar Haor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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