Characterization of blooming algae and bloom-associated changes in the water quality parameters of traditional pokkali cum prawn fields along the South West coast of India Journal Article


Author(s): Ajin AM; Reshma Silvester; Deborah Alexander; Nashad M; Mohamed Hatha Abdulla
Article Title: Characterization of blooming algae and bloom-associated changes in the water quality parameters of traditional pokkali cum prawn fields along the South West coast of India
Abstract: In tropical shrimp farms, especially in traditional pokkali shrimp ponds, poor water quality management can lead to serious threats like heavy algal blooms and frequent disease outbreaks. An investigation regarding the frequent disease outbreaks in selected pokkali shrimp pond adjoining the Cochin backwaters has been conducted. Water quality parameters were analyzed during the study period. Results indicate a considerable fluctuation in the concentration of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the study in the shrimp farm where the algal bloom was observed. Poor water exchange along with nutrient loading from adjacent housing areas resulted in heavy algal bloom in the pond which led to hypoxic conditions in early morning and supersaturation of DO in the afternoon. It also led to considerably high alkaline pH. High levels of total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) were recorded in the sampling sites. Heavy algal bloom was observed throughout the study period in the selected pond especially in the summer. Anabaenopsis elenkinii and Merismopedia elagans which were the dominant species from the culture pond caused the bloom. Characterization and percentage distribution of bacteria present in the water and those associated with the algal blooms were carried out. The algae were found to support greater diversity of bacteria when compared to water. Pathogenic species like Aeromonas hydrophila and Vibrio parahaemolyticus were encountered in the study. Experimental challenge studies using Artemia as a model showed that the V. parahaemolyticus isolates were highly pathogenic. Hence, this study reveals how algal growth supports opportunistic pathogens in great diverse in a shrimp pond and causes frequent disease outbreaks under favourable conditions.
Keywords: Pathogens; Water quality; Algal blooms; Shrimp ponds; V parahaemolyticus; Artemia; Disease outbreak
Journal Title: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume: 188
ISSN: ISSN: 0167-6369 (Print) 1573-2959 (Online)
Publisher: Springer  
Date Published: 2016-02-05
Start Page: 145
End Page: 155
Language: English
Copyright Statement: Springer International Publishing Switzerland
DOI/URL:
Identifier: 10.1007/s10661-016-5133-6
Notes: Impact factor 1.679