International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology

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Research Paper - International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology (2021) Volume 0, Issue 0

BIODIVERSITY ASSESSMENT OF BIRD SPECIES AS BIOINDICATORS AND THE IMPACT OF AIR POLLUTION ON THE ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITY

Biodiversity or variation of species distribution of the biotic world, in the ecosystem is an important factor to device the fate of ecosystem functioning and the health of the biotic world, and their relation with the abiotic world, constituting a specific niche in the ecological community. Biodiversity forms a greater complex of various life forms and in turn regulates how the biotic world interacts with the abiotic world and vice versa. Biodiversity, impacts the quality of life of the living organisms. Changes in the biodiversity of an ecosystem show us the way to figure out the causes behind the ecological health degradation. Birds serve a wide range of environmental functions and services in an ecosystem. Though biodiversity cannot be defined by any single factor, as it is a complex of various factors, which cannot be segregated individually yet, we have tried to measure the biodiversity in a very elementary manner and hence, define and measure the biodiversity of the communities. The current study assesses the bird diversity in two green zones, in the city of Kolkata. They act as bioindicators of vehicular pollution, landscape changes through change in vegetation cover, urbanization and human activities. Human disturbance and high pollution rate was found to be the defining factor, to measure the biodiversity index in these two habitats. It was carried out in two sampling stations, one was at the Rabindra Sarobar and the other was at the Elliot Park. The bird diversity was assessed both qualitatively and quantitatively through various statistical indicators, of biodiversity such as-Species Richness, Species Evenness, Shannon- Weiner Diversity Index, Brillouin Index and Simpson's Index of Diversity. The paper is based on a very preliminary approach towards establishing the relation between biodiversity and air pollution, more precisely the AQI (Air Quality Index). It has been observed here, that with increasing levels of air pollutants, biodiversity within a local ecosystem or habitat decreases and the degree of correlation is highly significant. This high correlation coefficient become very significant, as birds are conspicuous, avian species and are more exposed to airborne particles. They also have a higher breathing rate. This study also focuses on loss of species from a local area (Local Extinction) and Functional Extinctions (the reduction of species, such that, it no longer plays a significant role in ecosystem functioning) which have received little attention compared to Global Extinctions (loss of all individuals of a species from its entire range). Further research and detailed experiments are needed in relation to biochemical and genetic damages in the bird species with respect to air pollution. Though it could be concluded that, bird diversity is impacted by pollution and air pollution has a very significant role in determining the diversity and count of the avian species in the respective niches. This study can be useful to check and keep track of the ecological functioning and proper biogeochemical cycle rolling, from time to time, as with change in biodiversity, these factors would tend to get impacted. The scope of the paper rotates around the idea and hypothesis about how significantly the biodiversity of one region is impacted by air pollution. It must be borne in mind, that no other factors including prey-predator interactions, competition or symbiosis have been considered while calculating the bird diversity. It must also be noted, here, that no physicochemical aspects of the pollutants or biodiversity has been considered within the scope of this study. The bird diversity acts as bio indicators for urban pollution, deforestation, habitat fragmentation as well as, human interference in the ecological community.

Author(s): Sombuddha Roy Bhowmick*

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