Advances in Applied Science Research Open Access

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Biogeochemistry of the shelf sediments of south eastern Arabian sea: Effect on benthic bacterial heterotrophs

Ramya K. D., Jimly C. Jacob, Neil S. Correya, Bright Singh I. S. and Rosamma Philip

The composition and variability of heterotrophic bacteria along the shelf sediments of south west coast of India and its relationship with the sediment biogeochemistry was investigated. The bacterial abundance ranged from 1.12 x 103 – 1.88 x 106 CFU g-1 dry wt. of sediment. The population showed significant positive correlation with silt (r = 0.529, p< 0.05), organic carbon (OC) (r = 0.679, p< 0.05), total nitrogen (TN) (r = 0.638, p< 0.05), total protein (TPRT) (r = 0.615, p< 0.05) and total carbohydrate (TCHO) (r = 0.675, p< 0.05) and significant negative correlation with sand (r = -0.488, p< 0.05). Community was mainly composed of Bacillus, Alteromonas, Vibrio, Coryneforms, Micrococcus, Planococcus, Staphylococcus, Moraxella, Alcaligenes, Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Flavobacterium and Aeromonas. BIOENV analysis explained the best possible environmental parameters i.e., carbohydrate, total nitrogen, temperature, pH and sand at 50m depth and organic matter, BPC, protein, lipid and temperature at 200m depth controlling the distribution pattern of heterotrophic bacterial population in shelf sediments. The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the environmental variables showed that the first and second principal component accounted for 65% and 30.6% of the data variance respectively. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) revealed a strong correspondence between bacterial distribution and environmental variables in the study area. Moreover, non-metric MDS (Multidimensional Scaling) analysis demarcated the northern and southern latitudes of the study area based on the bioavailable organic matter

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