Phytoplankton Biomass in Bay of Bengal
- Posted By
9th Oct, 2020
- A team of scientists from the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) have discovered a way to measure the quantity of chlorophyll-a that indicates abundance of phytoplankton’s in the Bay of Bengal in real-time.
- Study of phytoplankton biomass is done by analyzing chlorophyll-a. It is a dominant pigment found in phytoplankton cells.
- The scientists closely tracked the long-term trends of chlorophyll-a in the northwestern Bay of Bengal.
- Findings: There were two peaks of chlorophyll-a — the primary peak occurred during the pre-southwest monsoon due to the recurrent phytoplankton bloom in the coastal water and the secondary peak occurred during the end of the southwest monsoon, spreading to far offshore areas.
- Reasons: (1) Increase in phytoplankton; (2) Physical forces such as upwelling, wind-induced vertical mixing, convective overturn and chemicals from various sources including river runoff.
- Phytoplankton’s are tiny microscopic floating plants found in water bodies.
- Significance of phytoplankton’s:
- They contribute more than half of the oxygen in the environment;
- They reduce global warming by absorbing human-induced carbon dioxide;
- They also serve as the base of the ocean food chain;
- They are important bio indicators regulating life in oceans;
- Their abundance determines the overall health of the ocean ecosystem.