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Ecosystem Services -Activities

As a part of the activities of  MoES Scheme 'Coastal Research' i.e., under  “Ecosystem Based Services - An Approach for Management of Coastal Areas” two R&D programmes are being implemented by the Ecosystem Services Group of NCCR.

A) The Marine Ecosystem Dynamics of Eastern Arabian Sea (MEDAS) for entire west coast (Okha to Kanyakumari) in association with CMLRE (Kochi):

Understanding the complexity and interplay of  upwelling and winter convective mixing  in the different seasons along the Eastern Arabian Sea  (EAS)  i.e., the shelf region  (Okha to Kanyakumari) of west coast is crucial for ecosystem management. Recurrent deoxygenation is a critical factor that regulates the EAS. Under this program the following objectives are being addressed at NCCR.

  • Assess the factors causing the formation/intensification of seasonal anoxia along the EAS.
  • Understanding the dynamics  and fluxes of  trace gases and its controlling factors along the EAS
  • Impact of hypoxia on benthic fauna along the EAS
  • Documenting the benthic ecological quality along the shelf waters of EAS
  • Investigating the linkage between the benthic – pelagic coupling

In order to meet the above objectives,  monthly/as well as seasonal (winter, spring and summer) measurements of various physical and biogeochemical parameters at selected  locations between 10 to 2000m depth contours along fixed transects were carried out from December 2017 to January 2019.

To estimate the land derived fluxes into the coastal waters along west coast seasonal sampling for physical and biogeochemical parameters at major estuarine locations such as Kochi Backwaters; Netravati River; Mandovi and Zuari Estuary; Thane and Amba estuary;  Narmada river) was conducted during June, September and December 2018.

B) The Ecosystem Based Services for the SE coast of India (Pulicat to Gulf of Mannar) in association with GIA Institutes (IIT-Delhi & Andhra university-Visakhapatnam):

The present R&D activities comprising both field and model investigations are confined to Pulicat lake (located on SE coast of India) and are being implemented by NCCR in association with  the Grant-In-Aid institutions (Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, IIT Delhi and Centre for Studies on  Bay of Bengal, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam) .

Pulicat lake has three seasonal inlets to the Bay of Bengal. The closure of the inlets during the non-monsoon seasons affects the local fishery and livelihood of the fishing community. To understand the ecosystem character of the lake due to the closure of the inlets monthly field measurements on various biogeochemical parameters have been initiated since August 2018.

The following activities are being implemented:

  • Analysis of multi-disciplinary data including satellite data, historical data, primary and secondary data etc., related to physical and biogeochemical parameters.
  • Monthly field observations for understanding the ecosystem characteristics of Pulicat Lake.
  • Assessing the dynamics of trace gases (N2O, CH4, CO2).
  • Assessing the benthic ecological status.
  • Development of regional nutrient climatological datasets for modelling studies.
  • Application of empirical and numerical models (1D/2D/3D) on physical and biogeochemical coupled processes – simulations and validation of models.