Diversity and Taxonomical Identification of Marine Zooplankton from Digha Adjacent Coastal Waters
Keywords:Zooplankton, Diversity, Taxonomy, Digha, West Bengal
Zooplankton is significant organisms in the food chain as predators of phytoplankton, the photosynthetic oxygen-producing aquatic plants; thus, they protect the ecosystem from eutrophication. Zooplankton are diversified and widely distributed throughout the lotic and lentic water bodies. The marine zooplankton community includes many different species of animals, ranging in size from microscopic protozoans to animals of several meters in dimension with buoyancy capacity. In this article, we describe the distribution, diversity, and taxonomic identification of marine zooplankton as evaluated by collecting species from the Digha adjacent coastal area (21.6222 °N; 087.5066 °E), West Bengal, India. Generally, almost all zooplankton species have their own specific depth range, but some of those also exhibit nocturnal migration, which helps in conserving energy, as well as beneficial for themselves, by prevent mortality by visual predators. Zooplankton, as the intermediate link between producer (phytoplankton) and consumer (secondary and tertiary) in the trophic chain, plays pivotal roles in the energy and matter transport processes, the cycling of elements, and their vertical flux in marine environments. This community is highly diverse in terms of their size, number, taxonomy, trophic structure, geographical distribution, tolerance to different environmental variables, etc. These are also considered some of the most important bio-indicators and linkages in shaping the extent and pace of climate change. During the survey, a small plankton local net was used to collect zooplankton. Totally, nine genera with ten different species, such as Euterpina acutifrons, Oithona brevicornis brevicornis, Paracalanus parvus parvus, Paracalanus aculeatus aculeatus, Microsetella norvegica, Nannocalanus minor, Undinula vulgaris, Canthocalanus pauper, Eucalanus elongatus elongatus and Subeucalanus crassus have been identified and characterized. The survey is a current report of the above species diversity, occurrence, distribution, and characteristics in these coastal areas during this period. We hope it is significant data for further analysis, such as the breeding of fish and crustaceans.