Dinoflagellate Ceratium symmetricum Pavillard (Gonyaulacales: Ceratiaceae): Its occurrence in the Hooghly-Matla Estuary and offshore of Indian Sundarban and its significance

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A. Akhand
S. Maity
A. Mukhopadhyay
I. Das
P. Sanyal
S. Hazra


The Sundarban is the largest mangrove ecosystem, which is presently vulnerable to climate change related impacts. The western part of it falls in the state of West Bengal between the estuaries of the Hooghly and Ichamati-Raymongal Rivers. The diversity of the genus Ceratium Schrank and the related physicochemical parameters such as Sea Surface Temperature (SST) was studied in the Hooghly-Matla estuary and offshore. Five species of bio-indicator dinoflagellate, Ceratium were identified in the bloom-forming season. The species are: C. furca, C. fusus, C. symmetricum, C. trichoceros and C. tripos. C. symmetricum was not previously reported from the Indian part of the Sundarban and is now found in low abundance. The other four species are less sensitive to warming or rise in SST. A comparative study of the day time SST from the satellite images of the year 2003 to 2009 of the months of January and February reveals a rising winter SST. Compared to the previous years, the increase in temperature can be one of the causative factors to explain the lower abundance of C. symmetricum compared to the others. With further rise of the SST, there is a possibility that this species may no longer be found in abundance in the western part of adjoining Hooghly-Matla estuarine system.

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