A review of the physicochemical features and phytoplankton community of the Bay of Bengal: Bangladesh perspective


As primary producers, phytoplankton form the basis of the marine food web. Coastal environments are highly fluctuating given the anthropogenic interactions and nutrient input from the adjacent landmass, which affects the dynamics and diversity of the phytoplankton populations leading to rapid changes in their composition. The Bay of Bengal (BoB) is the largest bay in the world, and forms the coastline of multiple South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar. The BoB is strongly influenced by seasonal monsoon, freshwater discharge from numerous rivers, and severe tropical cyclones. These unique physicochemical parameters of BoB, frequent anthropogenic interactions and impact of climate change in this region underscore the importance of understanding the microalgal dynamics and diversity in this region. Bangladesh is a small country in South Asia, which is geographically bordered to the south by ˜710 km long coastline formed by the BoB. The BoB coast plays a key role in the socioeconomic fabric of Bangladesh, as a large population depends on fishing and frequent tourism in these regions. This region is particularly sensitive to climate change, and global warming is predicted to increase the frequency of extreme weather events and sea-level rise. Given these factors, it is of utmost importance to understand the key players in the primary productivity of coastal Bangladesh, how they influence the upper trophic level consumers like fish, and the factors that affect their composition and dynamics. Here, we reviewed the physicochemical features of BoB and the current understanding of the phytoplankton communities in this bay. We further discussed the importance to chart the diversity and seasonality of phytoplankton communities in the coastal region of Bangladesh

Mohammad 'Monir' Moniruzzaman
Mohammad 'Monir' Moniruzzaman
Assistant Professor of Marine Biology and Ecology