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Monograph on Essentials in Limnology and Geographic Information System (GIS) 
Ramachandra T.V. and Ahalya N
Published by Karnataka Environment Research Foundation, 118 pp.

Aquatic ecosystems are dynamic and depend on various interdependent and inter-related factors that are vital for their existence and in maintaining the ecological balance. Various anthropogenic activities have impaired ecological conditions in many ecosystems. This monograph gives an account of the essentials in limnology, which helps in understanding the nature and extent of the problems and also provides an insight into the use of Geographic Information System as an effective tool for resource inventorying, monitoring and management. 

The monograph consists of four chapters, and the first one gives an overall view of the inland aquatic bodies as complex ecological systems. It begins with the formation of lakes, and the various physical, chemical and biological factors that determine these ecosystems. The physical factors covered include morphometry, density, light, etc., and the lake chemistry determined by various anions and cations are discussed in detail. The biological parameters include phytoplankton, zooplankton, waterfowl and fish communities that play an important role in freshwater biodiversity, and are presented with diagrams for easy understanding. The monograph gives an in depth view of the lake zones, productivity, and seasonal changes in the lake community with various energy relationships. The concept of food chain and food web in an aquatic ecosystem is also presented with illustrations. Lastly, the various anthropogenic activities that have deteriorated the quality of water are listed with the restoration strategies.


The second chapter outlines the essentials of Geographic Information system (GIS) as a spatial and temporal tool in monitoring and managing aquatic resources. The various software and hardware components that go into the making of GIS are discussed. The advantages of GIS in organisational integration, decision-making and map-making are listed. The concept of remote sensing, with its applications, is explained in detail. Finally, the integrated application of GIS and remote sensing in hydrology is briefly discussed.

The third chapter gives the detailed methodology of monitoring the lake water quality. The analyses of the various physico-chemical and biological parameters are given in detail to aid any beginner to take up water quality assessments. As the health of fish and bird communities is also an indicator of the water quality, the identification of fishes and waterfowl census and monitoring by various techniques are also presented.

The final chapter is a compilation of case studies of the Energy and Wetlands Research Group during the last five years, dealing with the status and socio-economic aspects of wetlands (which include socio-economic survey, and the importance of such investigations); the what, how and why of wetlands restoration and conservation, and the various restoration and management strategies for wetland conservation. A glossary explaining the various terminologies used throughout the monograph is included in the end. This monograph is helpful to researchers interested in aquatic ecosystems, practitioners and conservationists. 

Interesting websites on the subjects covered in this newsletter

Aquatic ecosystems


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April 20-21, 2002
A two-day workshop for children of age group 5-12 years.
Organised by the Karnataka Environment Research Foundation (Bangalore) and Commonwealth of Learning (Canada)
Venue - CHOKSHI HALL, Indian Institute of Science campus
For details contact: Mrs. Suparna Chattarji (Ruma)
NCBS, GKVK Campus, Bangalore - 65
Tel: (080) 363 6428 Extn: 5140, e-mail:

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