Acidification of Sundarbans mangrove estuarine system

Spatio-temporal variations of surface water pH in the eastern sector of mangrove dominated Indian Sundarbans were examined in detail for the first time. The gradual decrease of surface water pH is interpreted as signal of climate change and its possible causes are briefly outlined in this first-order analysis. The significant spatio-temporal variation of surface water pH can be attributed to factors like seawater intrusion into the Indian Sundarbans estuaries from the Bay of Bengal, the freshwater contribution from the Bangladesh Sundarbans through several channels, creeks and tributaries of Padma-Meghna-Brahmaputra system and photosynthetic activity of the huge chunk of mangrove vegetation that exhibit variable biomass and area around the selected stations. The sudden rise of aquatic pH during 2009 in all the stations is a direct consequence of sea water intrusion during AILA, a super cyclone that hit Sundarbans on 25th May, 2009. The polynomial equation between mangrove forest area (assessed from AwiFS data for June 2010) and aquatic pH (y = 0.0004x2 + 0.0049x + 8.234; R2 = 0.8563) strongly supports the positive influence of mangrove photosynthetic activity in shifting the equilibrium towards alkalinity and calls for conservation of mangrove ecosystem to minimize the pace of acidification of estuarine water.

Chakraborty S., Zaman S., Pramanick P., Raha A. K., Mukhopadhyay N., Chakravartty D. & Mitra A., 2013. Acidification of Sundarbans mangrove estuarine system. Discovery Nature 6(14):14-20. Article

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