T. V. Ramachandra 1, *, B. Alakananda 1, Ali Rani 2 and M. A. Khan 2
1 Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, India
2 K K English High School, Varthur, Karnataka (India)


Wetlands are the most productive ecosystems, recognized globally for its vital role in sustaining a wide array of biodiversity and provide goods and services. However despite their important role in maintaining the ecology and economy, wetlands in India are endangered by inattention and lack of appreciation for their role. Increased anthropogenic activities such as intense agriculture practices, indiscriminate disposal of industrial effluents and sewage wastes have altered the physical, chemical as well as biological integrity of the ecosystem. This has resulted in the ecological degradation, which is evident from the current ecosystem valuation of Varthur wetland. Global valuation of coastal wetland ecosystem shows a total of 14,785/ha US$ annual economic value. An earlier study of relatively pristine wetland in Bangalore shows the value of Rs. 10,435/ha/day while the polluted wetland shows the value of Rs.20/ha/day. In contrast to this, Varthur, a sewage fed wetland has a value of Rs.118.9/ha/day. The pollutants and subsequent contamination of the wetland has telling effects such as disappearance of native species, dominance of invasive exotic species (such as African catfish), in addition to profuse breeding of disease vectors and pathogens. Water quality analysis revealed of high phosphates (4.22-5.76 ppm) level in addition to the enhanced BOD (119-140 ppm) and decreased DO (0-1.06 ppm). The amplified decline of ecosystem goods and services with degradation of water quality necessitates the implementation of sustainable management strategies to recover the lost wetland benefits.

Keywords: Urban wetlands, Ecosystem services, water quality, Urbanization, conservation strategies


Citation: Ramachandra T. V., Alakananda B, Ali Rani and Khan M A, 2011, Ecological and socio-economic assessment of Varthur wetland, Bengaluru (India), J Environ Science & Engg, Vol 53. No 1. p 101-108, January 2011
* 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]
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