Ecosystem Modeling of South West Coastal Waters of India


Tropical seas sustaining rich bio-resources are the most valuable ecosystem related to human activity. The human interventions such as engineering modifications, hydraulic controls, industrial establishments etc. lead to progressive transformation in the coastal ecology. Excessive nutrient loadings have become a serious environmental issue in coastal waters causing eutrophication and unusual phytoplankton blooms. The nutrient distributions in coastal waters are controlled by a complex physical-chemical–biological interaction process associated with input, advection/dispersion, and export. Since these are complicated and non-linearly coupled, studies on eutrophication usually rely on water quality models involving transformation and utilization of inorganic and organic matter. Frequent occurrences of hypoxia have caused significant reduction of fishery harvests, toxic algal blooms, and loss of bio diversity. The quantification of all sources and biogeochemical processes like biochemical processes and tropic level relationships using mathematical models greatly help prediction of primary and secondary productivity. The study is expected to explore and formulate an environmental management plan to rejuvenate these coastal area based on the present status and projected demands. The present proposal is an attempt to predict the primary and secondary production through an ecosystem model to the south west (SW) coastal water of India.

Besides, climate change related impacts like SST may affect metabolic processes of organisms which would be reflected in annual rate of production and biodiversity.

Understanding the health of the ecosystem in terms of productivity, it's likely trend in the future are extremely essential to plan measures required for preventing decline of resources. One of the most reliable tools available today to fulfill this need is an ecosystem model to understand the dynamics of components of ecosystem, their inter-relationships and to quantify the transfer of energy from one trophic level to the other. Use of such tools would certainly facilitate to delineate the causes of decline of productivity of the coastal waters of southwest coast of India

a) Objectives

  1. To understand the varied biogeochemical processes in the south west coastal waters.
  2. Development of a coupled hydro-ecosystem model for predicting primary and secondary level production with quantification energy transfer up to tertiary level.
  3. Simulation of hydrodynamic characteristics, water quality and phytoplankton biomass in terms of chlorophyll through models.
  4. To prepare a sustainable management plan to help the local community

b) Implementation Plan:

To fulfill the above objectives, the following studies has been proposed

  1. Time-series data for physical, chemical and biological parameters to understand the circulation and dynamics of the ecosystem up to 50m depth.
  2. Biogeochemistry of carbon and nitrogen
    • Tasks to determine coefficients through field and laboratory experiments.
    • Estimation of primary production using the water quality model and secondary production using ecological model.
  3. An optimized ecosystem model to be formulated specially for SW coast of India

The proposed activity will be implemented by ICMAM.

c) Deliverables:

An Ecosystem model for Southwest coast of India providing scenarios of changes in productivity under the changing environmental conditions useful to plan take measures to ensure optimum productivity

Last Updated On 08/20/2014 - 17:42
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