Algal blooms: a perspective from the coasts of India
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Algal blooms have been documented along the west and east coasts of India. A review of bloom occurrences in Indian waters from 1908 to 2009 points out that a total of 101 cases have been reported. A comparison of the bloom cases reported before and after the 1950s reveals that there is an increase in the number of bloom occurrences. The reports of algal blooms indicate their predominance along the west coast of India especially the southern part. Majority of the blooms reported along the west coast of India are caused by dinoflagellates, whereas diatom blooms prevail along the east coast. There have been 39 causative species responsible for blooms, of which Noctiluca scintillans and Trichodesmium erythraeum are the most common. Reporting of massive fish mortality in Indian waters has been associated with the blooming of Cochlodinium polykrikoides, Karenia brevis, Karenia mikimotoi, N. scintillans, T. erythraeum, Trichodesmium thiebautii and Chattonella marina. Most of the blooms occurred during withdrawal of the south-west monsoon and pre-monsoon period. In Indian waters, this process is mainly influenced by seasonal upwelling and monsoonal forcing that causes high riverine discharge resulting in nutrient-enriched waters that provides a competitive edge for blooming of phytoplankton species.
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