Drivers of water pollution and evaluating its ecological stress with special reference to macrovertebrates (fish community structure): a case of Churni River, India

  • Biplab Sarkar
  • Aznarul IslamEmail author


The focus of this study is to measure ecological stress of Churni River based on the estimates of dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), nutrients imbalances of dissolved inorganic nitrogen or DIN (NO3 N and NO2 N) and dissolved inorganic phosphate or DIP (PO43−). The present water quality measured in terms of overall index of pollution (OIP), eutrophication index (EI), organic pollution (OPI) and water pollution indexes for ecological status (WPI) portrays that the river is polluted having a high concentration of BOD, COD, nutrients (DIP and DIN) and a very low concentration of DO. Fish community structure taken as most sensitive indicator of ecological stress of water pollution depicts that out of 44 species, 28 fish species (63.63%) comprising 20.0% planktivore (PL), 9.09% benthic feeder (BE), 18.18% omnivorous (OM) and 15.90% carnivorous (CA) at Majhdia and 21 fish species (47.72%) comprising 18.18% PL, 4.59% BE, 13.63% OM and 11.36% CA at Ranaghat have been disappeared. The present investigation has found that anthropogenic interventions like disposal of industrial effluents and agricultural run-off from on-bed and off bed land use are the main drivers of the pollution. Furthermore, natural forcing in the form of neotectonic movements and monsoon regimes has intensified the problem.


Eutrophication Trophic level score Habitat orientation score Fish susceptibility Neotectonics Monsoon regime 


Funding information

The first author of this paper received financial support from the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), vide file number RFD/2017-18/ENVI/GEN/324, to carry out this research work.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyAliah UniversityKolkataIndia

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