The paper deals with the seasonal and spatial variation of phytoplankton,\ud based on the observations at four stations (Aroor to Fairway Buoy) in the Cochin\ud backwater during 1972-73. Two peaks of phytoplankton abundance are usually\ud observed, with the diatoms playing the major role in determining the pattern of\ud seasonal variations. An analysis of variance indicates that the spatial variation is\ud as high as the seasonal variation. The usefulness of chlorophyll a in relation to\ud the phytoplankton counts as a measure of the phytoplankton abundance has been\ud studied by using the correlation coefficients; it has been found from an analysis of\ud covariance that a common relationship exists between phytoplankton and chlorophyll\ud a for the estuary. The fluctuations in some of the environmental characteristics\ud have been discussed with their relative influence on thei production of\ud phytoplankton. In the light of the results obtained, outlines of modifications in the\ud sampling procedure have been given to the study of phytoplankton production\ud in the estuary more comprehensive
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