Cistup Technical Report: 1

T.V. Ramachandra
Convener, Urban Ecology, Environment and Policy Research Group
Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012

Phone: 91-80-22933099/23600985/22932506,
Fax: 91-80-23601428/23600085/23600683[CES-TVR]


Essentials in Urban Lake Monitoring and Management

A three day workshop on “Urban Lake monitoring and Management” for capacity building of young researchers is being organized at CiSTUP Conference Hall at IISc campus from 23rd to 25th September 2009. The aim of the workshop was to provide hands on training in aquatic ecological field techniques to researchers and other lake stakeholders. The workshop included training in field sampling for i) characterization of lentic waterbodies (physical, chemical and biological), ii) birds, iii) amphibians. In addition to these, a brief overview of GIS and usage of Geographical Position systems will be demonstrated. This publication includes the protocol with data format for sampling birds, amphibians, diatoms (Unicellular algae) and fishes and also water quality analysis.

Aquatic Ecosystems : Conservation, Restoration and Management

Aquatic Ecosystems Contribute to a large proportion of the planet's biotic productivity as about 30% of the world's primary productivity comes from plants living in the ocean. These ecosystems also include wetlands located at lake shores, river banks, the ocean shoreline, and any habitat where the soil or vegetation is submerged for some duration. When compared to terrestrial communities, aquatic communities are limited abiotically in several different ways.

Aquatic Insects for Biomonitoring Freshwater Ecosystems- A Methodology Manual

Around the world, freshwater habitats are being subjected to increased levels of human disturbance (Saunders et al., 2002). A recent assessment of the status of inland water ecosystems shows that globally most threatened river catchments are to be found in the Indian subcontinent (WCMC, 2000). A study based on 195 animal species of inland water ecosystems indicates that on average monitored populations have declined by 54% during 1970-2000. This compares with a decline over the same period of some 35% in 217 marine and coastal species, 15% in 282 terrestrial species. Though, not conclusive, these provide strong indications that inland water ecosystems are suffering the greatest negative impact from human activities at present (WWF 2002 & WCMC, 2000). In this juncture, it is imperative to identify, monitor and conserve important areas biodiversity especially of the riverine ecosystems (Dudgeon, 1994).

Aquatic Insects of India-A field Guide

The inland freshwaters encompass a diverse array of ecosystems as varied as lakes and rivers, ponds and streams, temporary puddles, thermal springs and even pools of water that collect in the leaf axils of certain plants. This is a small fraction of world’s water resource. Despite this, inland aquatic habitats show far more variety in their physical and chemical characteristics than marine habitats and contain a disproportionately high fraction of the world’s biodiversity.

Inland water habitats can be classified into stagnant (lentic) and flowing (lotic). They may also be classified into perennial or transient. Each of these has its own set of distinctive ecology and biological community. Lentic systems comprise lakes and ponds. Majority of large lakes are formed either by glacial or tectonic activity. Most of the glacial lakes are geologically young and were formed during Holocene, 11,500 years before present. Manmade lentic habitats such as irrigation tanks, ponds and reservoirs are historically recent and predominant landscape features in India.

Canonical correspondence analysis and related multivariate methods in aquatic ecology

Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) is a multivariate method to elucidate the relationships between biological assemblages of species and their environment. The method is designed to extract synthetic environmental gradients from ecological data-sets. The gradients are the basis for succinctly describing and visualizing the differential habitat preferences (niches) of taxa via an ordination diagram. Linear multivariate methods for relating two set of variables, such as twoblock Partial Least Squares (PLS2), canonical correlation analysis and redundancy analysis, are less suited for this purpose because habitat preferences are often unimodal functions of habitat variables. After pointing out the key assumptions underlying CCA, the paper focuses on the interpretation of CCA ordination diagrams. Subsequently, some advanced uses, such as ranking environmental variables in importance and the statistical testing of effects are illustrated on a typical macroinvertebrate data-set. The paper closes with comparisons with correspondence analysis, discriminant analysis, PLS2 and co-inertia analysis. In an appendix a new method, named CCA-PLS, is proposed that combines the strong features of CCA and PLS2.

Developments in Aquatic Insect Biomonitoring: A Comparative Analysis of Recent Approaches

Aquatic insects and other benthic invertebrates are the most widely used organisms in freshwater biomonitoring of human impact. Because of the high monetary investment in freshwater management, decisions are often based on biomonitoring results, and a critical and comparative review of different approaches is required. We used 12 criteria that should be fulfilled by an “ideal” biomonitoring tool, addressing the rationale, implementation, and performance of a method. After illustrating how the century-old but still widely used Saprobian system does not meet these criteria, we apply them to nine recent approaches that range from the suborganismal to the ecosystem level. Although significant progress has been made in the field, no recent approach meets all 12 criteria. Given that the use of biomonitoring information has important financial consequences, we suggest that societies and governments prioritize how these criteria should be ranked.

GPS Guide for Beginners

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is changing the way we work and play. You can use GPS technology when you are driving, flying, fishing, sailing, hiking, running, biking, working, or exploring. With a GPS receiver, you have an amazing amount of information at your fingertips. Here are just a few examples of how you can use GPS technology.
  • Know precisely how far you have run and at what pace while tracking your path so you can find your way home
  • Pinpoint the perfect fishing spot on the water and easily relocate it
  • Get the Closest location of your favorite restaurant when you are out-of-town
  • Find the nearest airport or identify the type of airspace in which you are flying

PAST - PAleontological STatistics

This program was originally designed as a follow-up to PALSTAT, a software package for paleontological data analysis written by P.D. Ryan, D.A.T. Harper and J.S. Whalley (Ryan et al. 1995).

Through continuous development for more than ten years, PAST has grown into a comprehensive statistics package that is used not only by paleontologists, but in many fields of life science, earth science, and even engineering and economics.

Seven Foundations of Biological Monitoring and Assessment

Pressure on nature from the impact of 6 billion humans is taking its toll. Living systems in water bodies illustrate this toll much as bloodcell counts and blood chemistry illustrate the health of a human body. For most of the twentieth century, society remained largely unaware of the collapse of aquatic ecosystems because we saw water narrowly, as a fluid to be consumed or used as a raw material in agriculture or industry. When attempted, monitoring focused on the presence of chemical contaminants rather than the character of the aquatic biota. Direct biological monitoring and assessment, an antidote to that lack of awareness, has gained substantial ground in the last decade because they provide a mechanism to directly assess the condition of water bodies, diagnose the causes of degradation, define actions to attain conservation and restoration goals, and evaluate the effectiveness of management decisions. Seven foundations of modern bioassessment programs are crucial to the development and use of a new generation of indicators to reverse the erosion of aquatic living systems.

Teaching Multivariate Statistics to Ecologists and The Design of Ecological Experiments to Statisticians: Lessons from both sides

Multivariate data in ecological applications most often occur in the form of counts of species abundances in assemblages, where each species is a variable. These data do not generally conform to traditional statistical assumptions, and so special approaches and methods are needed in this context. Statisticians need to be informed about these special problems with ecological data. In addition, the rationale for complex experimental designs that is a trademark of most ecological studies needs to be well understood by applied statisticians in this area. On the other hand, successful approaches for teaching ecologists about the use of multivariate statistics include sticking to the conceptual, rather than the mathematical. I provide here an overview of the methods that have helped teaching across these two disciplines, including a general approach for the use of novel non-parametric methods in the analysis of ecological community data.

Richard Hamming : ''You and Your Research''

At a seminar in the Bell Communications Research Colloquia Series, Dr. Richard W. Hamming, a Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and a retired Bell Labs scientist, gave a very interesting and stimulating talk, You and Your Research to an overflow audience of some 200 Bellcore staff members and visitors at the Morris Research and Engineering Center on March 7, 1986. This talk centered on Hamming's observations and research on the question ``Why do so few scientists make significant contributions and so many are forgotten in the long run?'' From his more than forty years of experience, thirty of which were at Bell Laboratories, he has made a number of direct observations, asked very pointed questions of scientists about what, how, and why they did things, studied the lives of great scientists and great contributions, and has done introspection and studied theories of creativity. The talk is about what he has learned in terms of the properties of the individual scientists, their abilities, traits, working habits, attitudes, and philosophy.

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