Studies on Carbon and Nitrogen Biogeochemistry in Coral Ecosystem

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Eutrophication is the enrichment of nutrients in aquatic environment (organic matter increase in water), is an ongoing problem in coastal marine and freshwaters worldwide. The large loading of N and P stimulates the growth of phytoplankton, microalgae and microbial populations and processes which says the undesirable disturbance to the balance of organisms, ultimately photosynthesis exceeds respiration. On the other hand, decomposition of the greater supply of organic matter microbial populations often result in depletion of dissolved oxygen (anoxia and hypoxia: oxygen concentration > 2 ppm) therefore, lead to an increase in marine N2O emission in stratified bottom water to levels, which is very low to sustain fishes and invertebrates.

The coral reef ecosystem, besides facing the above situations, also to experience rise in seawater temperature due to climate change. The increases in temperature besides causing bleaching also alter the metabolic processes, which may affect the health of the corals.

a) Objectives:

To develop an ecosystem model for coral reef areas in Lakshadweep to predict likely changes of health of coral reefs in the event of climate variability especially the rise in seawater temperature and increase in anthropogenic activities

b) Participating Institutions:

  1. Integrated Coastal & Marine Area Management-Project Directorate, Chennai
  2. Centre for Marine Living Resources & Ecology, Kochi.
  3. Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad
  4. Centre for Climate Change Research, IITM, Pune
  5. Academic and R & D Institutions

c) Implementation Plan:

  1. Determination of coastal circulation patterns through hydrodynamic modelling
  2. Understanding the nutrient cycles through isotope studies
  3. Integrating with the activities of the island and coastal ecosystem scale monitoring through environmental and GHG Flux measurements
  4. Assess the performance evaluation of the coral health monitoring bulletins of the INCOIS
  5. Integrating with the activities of SIBER in respect of ocean biogeochemistry studies in around around island ecosystems of India
  6. Prediction of water quality including temperature under changing environmental conditions
  7. Inter-relationship between other fauna and flora and coral organisms
  8. An ecosystem model to predict health of corals under changing environmental conditions.

d) Deliverables:

Ecosystem scale Assessment of manifested climate change impacts in respect of island ecosystems

e) Budget Requirement:

Amount projected is part of Rs.185 cr of 3.6.5.Coastal Research

Last Updated On 08/22/2014 - 17:39
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