Thursday, February 4 2021

IMSc Webinar

POSTPONED: Impact of changing environment on plankton ecology

Swarnendu Banerjee

Agricultural and ecological research unit, ISI Kolkata

POSTPONED. Will be rescheduled.

In the present era, anthropogenic changes has led to altered ecosystem functioning. In this talk, I will first focus on the impact of chemical contamination on planktonic systems. Although, regime shifts leading to algal blooms are quite well known in lake ecosystems, the effect of contamination on such regime shifts is not particularly well understood. Here, we focus on copper pollution and our results suggests that both the toxic and deficient copper enrichment of water bodies can lead to catastrophic transition of the ecosystem to an algal dominated alternative stable state. Further, stochasticity can lead to algal domination much prior to the tipping point. I also investigate the effect of copper contamination on planktonic host-parasite systems. Contamination can affect not only multiple traits in the host and the parasite but also the resource thus influencing the host-resource interactions which might be vital to understanding infectious disease dynamics. Our results reveal that an intermediate copper concentration can render the system disease-free. Lastly, I will talk about how intracellular regulations within a toxic bloom forming plankton, Microcystis aeruginosa, govern toxin production in response to nitrogen changes in the aquatic environment.

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