Ecohydrology of Lotic Ecosystems of Uttara Kannada,

 Central Western Ghats

Dr.T.V. Ramachandra, M.D. Subash Chandran, N.V. Joshi, B. Karthick and Vishnu D.Mukri

Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences [CES], Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012, India
*Corresponding author: cestvr@ces.iisc.ernet.in

Western Ghats is the primary catchment for most of the rivers in peninsular India. Pristine forests in this region are rich in biodiversity and are being cleared due to unsound developmental activities. This has given rise to concerns about land use/land cover changes with the realization that land processes influence climate. Rapid land-use changes have undermined the hydrological conditions, there by affecting all the components in the hydrological regime. The development programmes based on ad-hoc decisions, is posing serious challenges in conserving fragile ecosystems. Considerable changes in the structure and composition of the land use and land cover in the region have been very obvious during the last four decades. Pressure on land for agriculture, vulnerability of degraded ecosystems to the vagaries of high intensity of rainfall and high occurrence of steep erosion and landslide-prone areas, lack of integrated and coordinated land use planning are some of the reasons for rapid depletion of the natural resource base. These changes have adversely affected the hydrological regime of river basins resulting in diminished river / stream flows. This necessitates conservation of ecosystems in order to sustain the biodiversity, hydrology and ecology. In this situation, in order to resolve present problems and to avoid a future crisis, a comprehensive assessment of land use changes, its spatial distribution and its impact on hydrological regime was carried out and accordingly, appropriate remedial methods are being explored for the sustainable utilization of the land and water resources of the catchment. The current research focusing on five rivers in central Western Ghats monitors water quality along with diatoms, land use in the catchment and threats faced by these ecosystems.

Keywords: Western Ghats, Lotic Ecosystems, water quality, diatoms


Citation: Ramachandra T V, Subash Chandran M.D., Joshi N V, Karthick B and Vishnu D. Mukri, 2015. Ecohydrology of Lotic Ecosystems of Uttara Kannada,  Central Western Ghats, In: Ramkumar, M., Kumaraswamy, K. and  Mohanraj, R. (Eds.). Environmental management of River Basin ecosystems, Springer Earth System Sciences, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-13425-3_29
* Corresponding Author :
Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, INDIA.
  Tel : 91-80-23600985 / 22932506 / 22933099,
Fax : 91-80-23601428 / 23600085 / 23600683 [CES-TVR]
E-mail : cestvr@ces.iisc.ernet.in, energy@ces.iisc.ernet.in,
Web : http://wgbis.ces.iisc.ernet.in/energy