Published on April 24, 2014
112 International Journal of Environmental Biology 2014; 4(2): 112-118 ISSN 2277–386X Review Article ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS AND HYDROBIOLOGICAL CORRELATIONS IN FRESHWATER PONDS – RECENT RESEARCHES AND APPLICATION Roy, K.1 *, Chari, M.S.2 , Gaur, S.R.3 and Thakur, A.4 1* Research scholar.Department of Fisheries, College of Agriculture, Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur 492012, Chhattisgarh.email@example.com 2,3 Professor. Department of Fisheries.Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur. 4 Postgraduate scholar.Department of Fisheries, College of Agriculture, Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur 492012, Chhattisgarh. Received 21 March 2014; accepted 08 April 2014 Abstract The utilization of the pond resources depends upon their limnological, hydrobiological and ecological knowledge in order to augment fish production by adopting scientific approach. As ponds play a vital role in commercial fisheries, sound ecosystem based management is necessary and it is pre-requisite to study their fundamental ecosystem dynamics for proper utilization or conservation.An account of recent researcheson hydrobiological correlations existing in freshwater ponds and lakes is also given in the following article. © 2014 Universal Research Publications. All rights reserved Keywords: - Freshwater environment, Aquatic ecology, Limnology, Hydrobiology, Ecological dynamics, Pond, Aquaculture 1. Introduction Water is an elixir of life. It governs the evolution and function of the universe on the earth hence water is called as the „mother of all living world‟. Majority of water available on the earth is saline in nature; only small quantity is fresh water (Gupta and Shukle, 2006). Aquatic ecosystem is the most diverse ecosystem in the world. The first life originated in the water. Water covers about 71% of the earth of which more than 95% exists in gigantic oceans. Global aquatic ecosystems fall under two broad classes defined by salinity – freshwater ecosystem and the saltwater ecosystem. Freshwater ecosystems are inland waters that have low concentrations of salts (< 5 ppt). Freshwater ecosystem (habitats and organisms) includes rivers and streams, ponds and lakes and their associated biodiversity. Aquatic habitats provide the food, water, shelter, and space essential for the survival of aquatic animals and plants, both microscopic and macroscopic. Aquatic biodiversity is generally rich and harbours variety of plants and animals i.e. from primary producers like algae to tertiary consumers like large carnivorous fishes, intermittently occupied by zooplankton, small herbivorous or planktivorous fishes, aquatic insects, etc. Many of these animals and plants species live in water forever, whereas others like insects and frogs may use waters only during the breeding season or as juveniles (UNEP, 1996). 2. Limnology – A tool for scientific investigation The study of freshwater habitats is known as limnology. Freshwater habitats can be further divided into two groups as lentic and lotic ecosystems i.e. - standing water and flowing water respectively. The water residence time in a lentic ecosystem on an average is 10 years and the average flow velocity ranges from 0.001 to 0.01 m/s. The lentic habitats further differentiate from lotic habitats by having a thermal stratification with is created in a lake due to differential heating of water layers, where lighter water floats on top of the heavier cooler water resulting in a thermocline at the middle. Ponds, tanks and lakes are comes under lentic water systems (Wetzel, 2001). 3. Ponds – A Neglected Aqua Resource Ponds are relatively shallow water bodies that are potential habitats for microscopic or macroscopic plants and animals comprising plankton, periphyton, nekton, neuston, benthos, finfish and shellfish (Denny 1985). These shallow fresh water impoundments in the tropics are becoming increasingly important as sources of fish and various methods including introduction of new species, semi intensive to intensive culture technologies, and ecosystem Available online at http://www.urpjournals.com International Journal of Environmental Biology Universal Research Publications. All rights reserved
113 International Journal of Environmental Biology 2014; 4(2): 112-118 based management approaches are frequently being tried in the hope of improving fisheries (Dokulilet al., 1983). 4. Various ecological dynamics in a freshwater pond In aquatic habitats, the environmental factors include various physical properties of water such as solubility of gases and solids, the penetration of light, temperature, and density. The chemical factors such as salinity, pH, hardness, phosphates and nitrates are very important for growth and density of phytoplankton, on which, zooplankton and some higher consumer depend for their existence (Jhingran, 1985). The term “Water quality” refers for the physical, chemical and biological parameters of water and all these characteristics directly or indirectly influences the survival and production of aquaculture species (Boyd, 1998). The seasonal variation in the ecological parameters exerts a profound effect on the distribution and population density of both animal and plants (Odum, 1971). The productivity in terms of planktonic biomass in fresh water lakes, rivers and ponds is regulated by various physico-chemical factors viz., temperature, transparency, pH, electrical conductivity, total hardness, nitrogen and phosphorus (Mahboobet al., 1988). 4.1. Temperature Dynamics Temperature is one of the most important and essential parameter of aquatic habitats because almost all the physical, chemical and biological properties are governed by it. It influences the oxygen contents of water quantity and quality of autotrophs, while affecting the rate of photosynthesis and also indirectly affecting the quantity and quality of heterotrophs (Barnabe, 1994). The temperature of water varies throughout the year with seasonal changes in air temperature, day length, and solar radiations. Fishes and zooplankton are stressed when temperature changes rapidly, because there is no enough time for physiological adaptation (Boyd, 1998). Water temperature generally depends upon climate, sunlight and depth. The intensity and seasonal variation in temperature of water directly affect the productivity of lakes. All organisms possess limits of temperature tolerance. The seasonal fluctuation of temperature influences the feeding habits of the fish. All biological activities like ingestion, reproduction, movement and distribution are greatly influenced by water temperature. Decrease in temperature is also directly related to increase in DO. High temperature intensifies the effect of toxic substances and speed up biological degradation process (Boyd, 1998). A temperature of about 35ºC is generally considered as threshold for survival of aquatic life (ICAR, 2011). 4.2. Light Dynamics Turbidity is the measurement of inhibition of light passing through a water sample (Landau, 1992). Turbidity is the name given to the clarity of water which is affected by the amount of the suspended solids in it. High turbidity often accompanies organic pollution. Turbidity reduces the light penetration into deeper waters, and hence, reduces the primary productivity (Landau, 1992). Turbidity by plankton is considered beneficial whereas clay turbidity adversely affects plant growth (Boyd, 1998). Quality and quantity of light entering in an aquatic habitat are important. Availability of light energy to a fish pond greatly influences its productivity. Synthesis of carbohydrates is a photochemical process energized by light (Rath, 1993). Transparency gives an indirect measure of turbidity. It also gives an estimate about the amount of fish food organisms i.e. – plankton available in the water body. Generally a transparency of less than 15 cm or greater than 45 cm is considered unsuitable for fish culture operations (ICAR, 2011). 4.3. pH Dynamics The pH expresses the acidity or alkalinity of water which is determined by means of hydrogen ion (H+) and the hydroxyl ion (OH-) in water. Higher concentration of H+ ions gives lower score on the pH scale and lower concentration of H+ ions gives higher scores on the pH scale. Waters of around pH 7 are called as neutral. During daylight, aquatic plants usually remove the CO2 from the water quickly and pH increases. At night, CO2 accumulates and pH declines. The magnitude of daily fluctuation in pH depends on the buffering capacity (total alkalinity) of water and rates of photosynthesis respiration (Boyd, 1998). The water with pH values ranging from abut 6.5-9.0 at daybreak is most suitable for fish production (ICAR, 2011). It shows diurnal fluctuation, being low at night and high in the afternoon. 4.4. Alkalinity Dynamics The amount of acid required for titration of bases is a measure of alkalinity of water or it is the ability of water to neutralize acids. Carbonates and bicarbonates are the major titratable bases present in the pond water and their concentrations are expressed as total alkalinity. Calcareous water with alkalinity more than 50 ppm is most productive. However, the range of alkalinity as 0-20 ppm for the low production, 20-40 ppm for medium production and 50-200 ppm for high production are considered. Influence of alkalinity is probably masked by other more important factor such as dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus (Rath, 1993). It also shows diurnal fluctuation, being low at night and high in the afternoon. 4.5. Hardness Dynamics Hard water contains high concentrations of alkaline earth metals while soft water has low concentrations. Hardness usually includes only Ca++ and Mg++ ions expressed in the terms ofequivalent CaCO3 (Abbasi, 1998). Total hardness of 15 ppm or above are satisfactory for the growth of fish. Water having hardness less than 5 ppm CaCO3 equivalent cause low growth, distress and eventually death of fish (Rath, 1993). For optimal fish production total hardness of a water body should be nearly equal to its total alkalinity value (ICAR, 2011). Fluctuation in water hardness occurs hand in hand with the total alkalinity. 4.6. Conductivity Dynamics Conductivity of natural water is measure of its ability to convey an electric current. Specific conductivity can be utilized as a rapid measurement of dissolved solids (Frank et al., 1974). The level of conductivity in water gives a good indication of the amount of joinable substances dissolved in it, such as phosphate, nitrate and nitrites. Generally conductivity of the natural water is directly proportional to the concentration of ions. Distilled water has a conductivity of about 1μmhos/cm, while natural water
114 International Journal of Environmental Biology 2014; 4(2): 112-118 normally has conductivity of 20-1500 μmhos/cm the conductivity of solutions depends upon the quantity of dissolved salts present (Boyd, 1998). Conductivity varies seasonally, being high during summer time due to evaporation and concentration while being low during rainy season due to dilution. 4.7. TDS Dynamics Total dissolved solids (TDS) indicate organic and inorganic matter in the sample. It is aggregated amount of the entire floating suspended solids present in water sample. The solids may be organic or inorganic in nature depending upon volatility of the substances. A high concentration of dissolved solids increases the density of water affects osmoregulation of fresh water organisms, reduces solubility of gases and utility of water for drinking, irrigational and industrial purposes (Boyd, 1998).TDS also varies seasonally, being high during summer time and reaching a peak in monsoon while it lowers in winter. 4.8. Oxygen Dynamics Dissolved oxygen has primary importance in natural water as limiting factor because most organisms other than anaerobic microbes die rapidly when oxygen levels in water becomes low or falls to zero. Of all dissolved gases, oxygen plays the most important role in determining the potential biological quality of water. It is essential for respiration, helps the breakdown of organic detritus and enables completion of biochemical pathways (Boyd, 1998). It is added in the water via diffusion and photosynthesis whereas it is removed from the water via respiration and decomposition (Goldman and Horne, 1983). DO is inversely related to water temperature and salinity. It shows diurnal fluctuation, being low at night and high in the afternoon (corresponding to the fluctuation of water pH). 4.9. Nutrient Dynamics Most of the nutrients in fishponds are distributed in water, fish biomass and the sediments and it‟s believed that a large proportion of nutrients end up in pond mud (Knud-Hansen 1997). The water of pond is chemically in a state of equilibrium, in which the soil plays an active part. Pond soil has the ability to store the nutrients and release them into water through various pathways which stimulates the production of plankton (Boyd, 1998). Nutrients, both from autochthonous as well as allochthonous inputs play a versatile role in defining trophic status of the pond ecosystem (Das, 2003).Nitrogen and phosphorus are often identified as limiting nutrients in pond water for plankton production (Hecky&Kilham 1988). Soil available nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and organic carbon are considered as key nutrients in ponds from management point of view (Knud-Hansen, 1997).Nitrogen occurs in fresh water in numerous forms: dissolved nitrogen, amino acids, amines, urea, ammonium (NH4 + ), nitrite (NO2 - ), and nitrate (NO3 - ) (Wetzel 2001). Nitrogen may limit the primary production of ponds in which fish yields are dependent of autotrophic food webs.In ponds where nitrogen is limiting, organic and inorganic fertilization programme may be directed towards increasing the availability of nitrogen for phytoplankton. Phytoplankton takes up dissolved nitrogen from the water column in aquaculture ponds and is regarded as the primary pathway of nitrogen removal (Hargreaves 1998). Phosphorus (P) can be found either in particulate matter or as soluble inorganic phosphorus, orthophosphate (PO4 3- ). In ponds, phosphorus is very dynamic i.e. - found in either particulate matter such as phytoplankton, zooplankton and bacteria or in soluble forms (Knud-Hansen 1997).The lowest concentration of dissolved nitrate and phosphate in water is minimum in summer followed by winter and highest during monsoon (Tidame and Shinde, 2013). All the nutrient levels in the pond bottom sediment shows minimum value during pre-monsoon and maximum value in post-monsoon (Bordoloietal., 2012). 4.10. Productivity dynamics Primary productivity is a measure of new organic matter created in the water body (Wetzel 2001). It can be determined by the oxygen production fluxes during short periods of time per unit volume of water. It is influenced by a number of physical and chemical factors. From Tilzeret al. (1975), two primary factors controlling phytoplankton productivity in water bodies are light and nutrient availability, and these in turn are influenced by suspended material and vertical mixing regimes. Algal primary productivity is the driving force behind the secondary productivity in fertilized ponds. There is a well established and very strong relationship between net algal productivity and the net fish yield for fishes whose diets consists of natural food produced in the pond (Knud-Hansen 1997). Potassium is required for all cells principally as an enzyme indicator (Goldman and Horne, 1983).Net primary productivity is maximum in summer and minimum in monsoon. Gross primary productivity is maximum in monsoon and minimum in winter (Tidame and Shinde, 2013). 4.11. Plankton Dynamics The plankton community is comprised of the primary producers or phytoplankton and the secondary producers or zooplankton (Battish, 1992). It is well established fact that more than 75% of freshwater fish feed on plankton at one or the other stage of their life cycle. Phytoplanktons are the primary producers of water bodies; these are the main source of food directly or indirectly to the fish population. The zooplankton and other micro invertebrates also depend upon phytoplankton for their existence. Presence of phytoplankton, filamentous algae and vascular aquatic plants in an aquatic environment is essential to ensure the proper aeration of water by releasing the oxygen and absorbing the carbon dioxide; which is exhaled by fish and other aquatic animals (Wetzel, 1975). Zooplanktons are considered to be the ecological indicators of water bodies (Gajbhiy and Desai 1981). Theinvestigation of zooplankton forms an important aspect of limnology, since they constitute the intermediate level between the primary producers and secondary consumers. The availability of zooplankton as food for larval fish is thought to be one of the key factors that strengthen commercial fisheries (Kane, 1993). The accumulation of plankton biomass coincides with the onset of the rainy season (May to September). Generally, the sequence of annual phytoplankton dominance is Chlorophyceae > Cyanophyceae > Bacillariophyceae while the dominance for zooplankton is Rotifera > Copepoda > Cladocera (Khan, 2010).
115 International Journal of Environmental Biology 2014; 4(2): 112-118 5. Hydrobiological correlations in freshwater ponds – Recent researches Mahajan and Mandloi (1998) showed that the plankton production of pond was dependent upon available nutrient value of soil and water, which came through inflow during monsoon season. Paul et al. (2007) found a significant correlation (P<0.05) between the NPP and the Available-N, Available-P of soil. No significant correlation was observed between the NPP and Available-K of soil. Thirugnanamoorthy and Selvaraju (2009) studied the phytoplankton diversity in relation to physico-chemical parameters of a temple pond of Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, India and reported that the distribution and population density of phytoplankton species depend upon the physico-chemical parameters of the environment. Parikh and Mankodi (2010) reported the limnological status of the urban pond, Vadodara, Gujarat from November 2007 to October 2008. Significant correlation is observed between silica and phosphate; similarly alkalinity and phosphate represent positive significance. This may be attributed to possible decomposition of organic material. Inverse relationship observed at significant level between total hardness and alkalinity may be due to the presence of more dissolved carbonates and bicarbonates. A direct relationship was observed between dissolved oxygen and temperature. Nutrients like phosphates and nitrates released due to trophic level interactions and food chain relationship shows increasing trend annually, but negative correlation between them. Singh and Bhatnagar (2010)studied four village fish culture ponds (two wild and two managed ponds) from district Hisar of Haryana, India. The study was undertaken, to correlate the water quality and biological cycles in ponds with fish production. Chlorides, total hardness, calcium, magnesium, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), phosphates (O-PO4) and ammonia were high whereas dissolved oxygen and fish growth/ yield was low in wild ponds in comparison to managed ponds. This may be due to high organic loads. The net primary productivity was high in the wild ponds in comparison to the managed ponds. The deterioration of water quality, as indicated by very high ammonia and BOD in wild ponds might have decreased the fish growth. On the other hand, grazing pressure might have decreased the Net Primary Productivity (NPP) but resulted in the high fish biomass in managed ponds. Thus high fish yield or growth is not directly related with net primary productivity. The physico-chemical characteristics of pond water have direct impact on prevailing organisms (Sayeshwaraet al., 2011). Shiddamallayya and Pratima (2011) investigated the seasonal changes in phytoplankton community in Papnash pond, Bidar, Karnataka along with physico-chemical characteristics of water. Correlation coefficient matrix has shown significant correlation between atmospheric temperature and phosphate with Cyanophyceae. A significant correlation was also found between atmospheric temperature and pH with Euglenophyceae. Similarly significant correlation existed between phosphate and Bacillariophyceae. The observations indicated fluctuation of various physico-chemical parameters in relation to seasons and by intervenes of the people. Water temperature (WT) showed positive correlation at the level .01 (two tailed) with air temperature (AT), CO2, pH, PO4, TDS, TH, TS and negative with DO and WC. Transparency is negatively significantly correlated at the level of .01 with TDS and total hardness. DO is negatively correlated with AT, CO2, pH, TH and WT at the level of .01 and positively correlated with NO3 at the level of .05. CO2 is positively correlated with AT, pH, PO4, TDS and WT at .01 level and negatively with DO, transparency. Total hardness is positively correlated with pH, TDS, transparency and WT while negatively with DO, NO3 and water volume (Patilet al., 2011). Ahmad et al. (2011) reported a negative and significant correlation between zooplankton and water temperature, nitrate (r = -0.700 and -0.861 respectively). Also, zooplankton recorded positive correlation with transparency, dissolved oxygen and phosphorus (r = 0.168, 0.469 and 0.529 respectively). Significant negative correlation was found between TDS and transparency, total hardness and also between conductivity and total hardness. Positive correlation was established between TDS and conductivity. The limnological parameter and plankton diversity are important criterion for determining the suitability of water for fisheries purpose (Sharma etal., 2011). Similarly, Pathak and Mankodi (2012) established several correlation coefficients between physico-chemical parameters and dissolved nutrients present in a water body. Temperature showed a significant inverse relationship with dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen shows a significant negative relation with temperature, alkalinity, total hardness, electrical conductance, nitrate, phosphate and respiration. Total alkalinity shows a positive relationship with temperature, depth of visibility, pH, total hardness, TDS, conductivity, nitrate, phosphate and respiration. Nitrate showed positive relation with temperature, pH, alkalinity, total hardness, TDS, electrical conductivity, phosphate and productivity, and negative relation with dissolved oxygen. Gross Primary Production was found to have positive correlation with dissolved oxygen, depth of visibility, pH, nitrates and phosphates (Sharma etal., 2012). The physico–chemical parameters like air and water temperature, pH, alkalinity, conductivity, total-solids, total dissolved solids and total suspended solids, nitrate, phosphate, BOD and COD were found to correlate with phytoplankton present in the pond. The study revealed that the water of the temple pond can be classified as moderately polluted in nature (Natarajan and Shakila, 2012). The study of correlation coefficient of various physico- chemical parameters and zooplankton groups shows that they are related with each other. The temperature is significantly positively correlated with rotifer and inversely proportional to turbidity. The pH is positively correlated D.O. gross primary productivity, chloride, phosphate and negatively correlated with magnesium. The increase in turbidity causes decrease in hardness, alkalinity and rotifer
116 International Journal of Environmental Biology 2014; 4(2): 112-118 density. Hardness shows significant positive correlation with copepod density and shows an inverse relation with cladocerans. The increase in carbon-dioxide shows decrease in GPP, phosphate, D.O. and increase in NPP. Dissolved oxygen shows positive correlation with phosphate, GPP and negative with that of NPP. GPP shows positive correlation with phosphate, chloride. The density of copepod shows inverse relation with cladocera population (Tidame and Shinde, 2012). Varghese et al. (2012) revealed the changes in the algal communities with the changes in the environmental parameters and nutrient regime. The distribution and density of zooplankton species was influenced by several physical and chemical factors of the pond environment (Aartiet al. 2013). Correlation coefficients (r) for all pairs of determined physico-chemical parameters showed that transparency had a significant correlation with Dissolved Oxygen (0.52) and pH (0.63) (p≤0.05 and 0.01 levels). Alkalinity had a positive correlation with pH (0.43) and low negative correlation (-0.30; -0.21) with DO and Free Carbon dioxide (Idowuet. al., 2013). 6. Application of the knowledge – Aim and Scope Maintenance of a healthy aquatic environment and production of sufficient fish food organisms in ponds are two factors of primary importance for successful pond cultural operations. To keep the aquatic habitat favourable for existence, physical and chemical factors like temperature, turbidity, odour, colour, dissolved gases, alkalinity, hardness and noxious gases will exercise their influence individually or synergistically. While the nutrient status of water and soil play an important role in governing the production of planktonic organisms or primary production in fish ponds (Banerjea, 1967). Knowledge of the ecology of fish ponds provides an important tool for managing them for higher yields (Nath and Mandal, 2003). The utilization of the pond resources depends upon their limnological, hydrobiological and ecological knowledge in order to augment fish production by adopting scientific approach (Paria and Konar, 2003). As ponds play a vital role in commercial fisheries, sound ecosystem based management is necessary and it is pre- requisite to study their fundamental ecosystem dynamics for proper utilization or conservation (Rao et. al., 1999). DISCLAIMER The first author declares that this review article is a part of his M.F.Sc. (Aquaculture) thesis work and research problem. REFERENCES 1. Aarti, D., Sharma, A. &Antal, N. 2013. 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