Phytoplankton diversity of floodplain lakes of the Majuli River Island of the Brahmaputra river basin, Assam, northeast India

Bhushan Kumar Sharma, Mrinal Kumar Hatimuria


Phytoplankton of three floodplain lakes (beels) of the Majuli River Island of upper Assam, northeast India (NEI), sampled during September 2010–August 2012, revealed rich diversity (108 species) with Ghotonga > Holmari ≥ Bhereki beels; richness of Chlorophyta and of Cosmarium > Staurastrum > Euastrum in particular. The monthly richness and community similarities affirmed heterogeneity in phytoplankton composition. Phytoplankton comprised between 59.5±12.5, 57.1±12.3 and 48.6±13.5% of net plankton abundance of Bhereki, Holmari and Ghotonga beels, respectively. Bacillariophyta > Chlorophyta showed quantitative importance in Bhereki while Chlorophyta > Bacillariophyta recorded importance in Holmari and Ghotonga beels. Cyanophyta showed sub-dominance and Dinophyta > Euglenophyta showed low densities in the three beels. Phytoplankton richness and abundance followed oscillating monthly variations; ANOVA registered insignificant richness variations amongst beels. The results are characterized certain monthly and annual variations but mean values depicted high species diversity, low dominance and high equitability. Individual and cumulative influence (vide CCA) yielded limited insight on the role of seventeen abiotic factors on phytoplankton in Holmari and Bhereki beels.


Alluvial floodplain, Abundance, Composition, Density, Tropical wetlands.

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