Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning [CiSTUP], Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India
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Urban lakes form vital ecosystems supporting livelihood with social, economic and aesthetic benefits that are essential for quality life. This depends on the biotic and abiotic components in an ecosystem. The structure of an ecosystem forms a decisive factor in sustaining its functional abilities which include nutrient cycling, oxygen production, etc. A community assemblage of primary producers (algae) plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance as they form the base of energy pyramid in the ecosystem. Algae assimilate carbon in the environment via photosynthetic activities and releases oxygen for the next level of biotic elements in an ecosystem. Besides these, algal cells rich in protein serve as food and feed, used as manure and for production of biofuels. Understanding algal photosynthetic dynamics helps in assessing the level of dissolved oxygen (DO), food (fish, etc.), waste assimilation, etc. Algal chlorophyll content, algal biomass, primary productivity and algal photosynthetic quotient are some of the parameters that help in assessing the status of urban lakes. Chlorophyll content gives a measure of the growth, spread and quantity of algae. Unplanned rapid urbanization in Bangalore in recent times has resulted in either disappearance of lake ecosystems or deteriorated the lake water quality impairing the ecological processes. This paper computes algal growth, community structure, primary productivity and composition for three major lakes (T G Halli, Bellandur and Varthur lakes) under contrast levels of anthropogenic influences.
Keywords: Algae, photosynthesis, lakes, community assemblage, relative abundance, physico-chemical