Potential Harmful Microalgae in Muttukadu Backwater, Southeast Coast of India
Phytoplankters are the primary producers of organic matter and the nourishment of many food webs in aquatic surroundings (Moestrup et al. 2010), and furthermore phytoplankton are good indicators of environmental change, hence contributing to the assessment of eutrophication stages in aquatic ecosystems (Tas and Yilmaz 2015). High phytoplankton production can also affect the water quality, producing toxins in the aquatic system. This may cause massive kills of living marine resources as well as terrestrial animals (Anderson et al. 2012). Eutrophication triggers various physicochemical alternations in the aquatic ecosystem, especially in marine and freshwater environment, and dramatically increased the microalgal cell abundance; due to these proliferations, some toxin-producing species or harmful algal blooms may create problems in the formation of the public fitness and wellbeing. These blooms are referred to as harmful algal blooms (HABs). The numerous numbers of toxic species are found among dinoflagellates, but evidence has been offered for several species of other taxa like diatoms, flagellates and cyanobacteria suggesting that they belong in this HAB category (Vershinin and Orlova 2008; Moestrup et al. 2010). Over the last one decade, increasing attention has been devoted to surveys of HABs in both aquatic ecosystems, because of the health hazard and their negative influence on aquaculture, recreation and tourism (Paerl and Huisman 2008). Studies of these microorganisms are commonly supported on the microscopic identification and enumeration of the cells of interest. Likewise, evaluation of the potential toxic hazard of discrimination specimen is based on direct identification and quantification of the toxins through immunochemical, chemical or biological methods. Potentially harmful microalgae are commonly found to appear in moderate numbers but under certain conditions may figure large glow that can have devastating expression of the environment (Moestrup and Larsen 1992). The present paper deals with the surveying and documenting of the occurrence of harmful microalgae in Muttukadu backwater, southeast coast of India.
Authors are thankful to the authorities of Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, for the facilities provided. Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India, is greatly acknowledged for the microalgae culture facility provided through the extramural project (BT/PR 5856/AAQ/3/598/2012). Authors (BB) and (RN) thank the DST and CSIR, Govt. of India, for the research fellowship.
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