The impact of long-term environmental change on zooplankton along the southwestern coast of India

T. R. Athira, Aymen Nefla, C. T. Shifa, H. Shamna, K. M. Aarif, Sama S. AlMaarofi, A. P. Rashiba, Omer R. Reshi, T. Jobiraj, P. Thejass, Sabir Bin Muzaffar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental pollution and climate change are causing major changes in the marine environment. Coastal zones around the world are experiencing changes such as nutrient influx, resulting in altered plankton communities. The aim of this study was to determine the response of zooplankton to the changes in the environmental variables in the coastal zone of the Arabian Sea, Southwest Coast of India, over 10 years. Zooplankton abundance, chlorophyll-a concentrations, and water quality variables (rainfall, nitrates, phosphates, pH, water temperature, and salinity) were quantified from January 2010 to December 2019. Water temperature, pH, salinity, and phosphates increased steadily across the sites during the study period whereas chlorophyll-a and nitrates decreased. Rainfall abundance was not exhibiting any patterns or trends. The effects of the sampled environmental variables on zooplankton abundance were tested using generalized linear mixed models. Salinity and phosphates negatively affected the zooplankton abundance whereas water temperature, pH, and chlorophyll-a concentration had a positive effect. Coastal zones in southwest India are experiencing declining phytoplankton abundance due to a number of environmental factors. Reduced phytoplankton combined with altered environmental variables are having declining effects on zooplankton. This decline in zooplankton population has far reaching effects on biota in higher trophic levels including economically important organisms such as fishes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number316
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume194
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Hydrographic variable
  • Nutrient upwelling
  • Pelagic food web
  • Tropical region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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