Global warming and the subsequent events of climate variability may have greater repercussions for marine ecosystems than for terrestrial ecosystems, because temperature influences, water column stability, nutrient enrichment, biodiversity of plankton communities and its reproductive cycles. To understand the impacts of tropical climate variability on the marine coastal ecosystems, a study has been undertaken to investigate the biodiversity and abundance of plankton in the most important tropical estuarine systems, a unique coastal marine environment in South India, The cumulative long term survey, over period of 25 years (period from 1990 to 2015) showed remarkable variations in environmental parameters, chlorophyll a concentrations and diversity of species, abundance of plankton communities. Besides, it showed seasonal variations: - being highest in summer (April June) and lowest in monsoon (October December). There were wide temperature fluctuations (range: 22.8 33.9oC), salinity gradients (3.1 34.8) and chlorophyll a concentrations (1.6 19.4 ”g l-l). The overall mean abundance of phytoplankton 3.9 fold and zooplankton 3.2 fold were higher in summer than in monsoon. The low diversity and abundance of plankton during monsoon might be due un-favorable/unstable climatological conditions, disappearance of many species, scarcity of food and high turbidity condition of the water column. The cumulative data on plankton diversity and abundance showed interesting observations on species distribution and abundance pattern. Climate variability exerts major influence on tropical ecosystem and biodiversity resources.
Key words: Global warming, Climate change, tropical ecosystems, plankton diversity, chlorophyll concentrations
Dr. Nallamuthu Godhantaraman has about twenty years of professional experience which includes teaching, research, administration, institution building and training. Currently he is serving as Director, UGC-Human Resources Development Centre and Head, Centre for Environmental, University of Madras and also Adjunct Faculty, Centre for Ocean and Coastal Studies, University of Madras, Chennai, India. He was a recipient of the prestigious JSPS Post-doctoral Researcher and STA Post-doctoral Researcher award. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Marine Science, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India and served as a Senate Member - Middle East University, United Arab Emirates.
Dr. Godhantaraman has participated in a large number of national and international seminars, conferences and workshops. He has attended many Training Programmes of the prestigious institutions. He has also conducted a large number of Academic Professional Development Programmes/Training Programmes for teachers of the higher educational institutions. His research interests includemarine biological oceanography, climate change /global warming and its impacts on marine ecosystem, marine microbial ecology and microbial food-web, Marine Coastal Pollution Monitoring & Ecosystem modeling, Coastal Zone Management, Environmental Sciences and Management.
Dr. Godhantaramanhas visited Japan, USA, UK, Germany, France, Portugal, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Thailand, South Korea and Philippines in connection with his research/conference participation.He has successfully completed a number of major research projects and also serving as a member in various professional bodies/committees. He got Distinguished Scientist Award for the contribution in the field of marine sciences and also awarded as an Ambassador by the Asian Council of Science Editors for the year 2016. He has also served as an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Shipping and Ocean Engineering and also referee/reviewer for many scientific journals including Elsevier, Springer publishers, Indian Publishers, UK Publishers and Indonesian Journals. He has also organized national and international conferences and seminars.
In his administrative assignments, he has initiated a number of innovative practices and best teaching and learning techniques. He has also conducted a large number of Academic Professional Development Programmes/Training Programmes for teachers of the higher educational institutions.