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Study of Diatom Flora in Geothermal Springs of Bakreswar, West Bengal, India

Neera Sen Sarkar, Manjushree Mandal


Geothermal springs are mostly formed due to tectonic movements of the earth or volcanic eruptions leading to the release of hot water in the form of artesian wells. The environment is very suitable for the growth of thermophilic Cyanobacteria. Nevertheless, some members of
Bacillariophyceae (diatoms) are also found in such geothermal springs, although, very high water temperature and alkaline water is generally not very conducive for diatom growth. The present study involves report and enumeration of 16 species of heat resistant diatoms for the first time from two different sites of the hot springs of Bakreswar. The sites vary  onsiderably in terms of temperature and anthropogenic pressures. The genera - Coscinodiscus sp., Synedra sp., Pinnularia sp., Rhopalodia sp., Gomphonema sp., Hantzschia sp. etc. form important constituents of the diatom assemblages. The study establishes lower Species Richness (9) at higher temperatures (>48ºC) which is the Reserve Tank (Site-1) compared to Species Richness (13) at lower temperatures (35–37ºC) in the Bathing Tank (Site-2). The study also highlights the abundance of pennate forms at lower temperatures. Most of the species are common at both the sites barring Gomphoneis sp., Coscinodiscus oculus-iridis and Coscinodiscus radiatus. None of the centric diatoms belonging to the genera Coscinodiscus were found to occur at Site-2.

Keywords: Hot springs, diatom, thermophilic

Cite this Article
Manjushree Mandal, Neera Sen Sarkar, Study of Diatom Flora in Geothermal Springs of Bakreswar, West Bengal, India Research and Reviews: Journal of Botany (RRJoB). 2015; 4(2): 6–10p.

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