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Environmental Analysis & Ecology Studies

Fresh/River Water Zooplankton in Bangladesh: A Critical Review

Md Simul Bhuyan1,2*, Muhammad Sharif AS3, Md Mohidul Islam4, Mojumder IA2,5, Monika Das6,7 and Md Shafiqul Islam1

1Faculty of Marine Sciences and Fisheries, Bangladesh

2Bangladesh Research Consultancy Firm, Bangladesh

3Bangladesh Oceanographic Research Institute, Bangladesh

4Marine Fisheries and Technology Station, Bangladesh

5Department of Zoology, Bangladesh

6,7Department of Fisheries, Bangladesh

*Corresponding author: Md. Simul Bhuyan, Faculty of Marine Sciences and Fisheries, Bangladesh

Submission: March 04, 2020Published: September 11, 2020

DOI: 10.31031/EAES.2019.06.000658

ISSN 2578-0336
Volume7 Issue2


This study was conducted in 2020 to find out the total identified fresh/river water zooplankton in Bangladesh. This review was carried out based on the secondary data. Data were collected from different published journals and websites. Images of every species were collected from different websites since their image cannot be download from PDF and some of the publications only stated name. In the present study, a total of 260 zooplankton species were recorded in fresh/river water. Few species were identified in the larvae and egg stage. Zooplankton is an important part of the aquatic ecosystem that formulate the food chain and food web. There is very limited research on freshwater zooplankton in Bangladesh. Most of the study identified up to the Order level and unpublished. The findings of the present study suggested that it is very necessary to identify the freshwater zooplankton in species-level with a very clear image. This will be a great resource for the conservation of the river or freshwater ecosystem.

Keywords: Freshwater; Zooplankton; Identification; Ecosystem; Bangladesh


Zooplankton is microscopic organisms that drift in water due to the wave action of water. Zooplankton is mainly visible in the pelagic zone of ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans where light enters. They have no strong swimming organ-like fin in fish [1]. That’s why they are unable to swim freely like fish and they have relied on the wave or current to swim [2]. Zooplankton act as a base of food chains and food webs in freshwater ecosystems since they are solely liable for all secondary production [1]. Moreover, some of them are known as indicators of ecological variations [3]. Zooplankton is now subjected to the effect of the global climate change phenomenon and its long-term and wide profound effect [4].

Directly or indirectly omnivorous and carnivorous fishes rely on zooplankton for their food [5]. Zooplankton excretes organic matters and provides large quantities of protein in water. These nutrients are required for the development of different organs of fish that promote rapid growth [6]. Zooplankton regarded as the ideal food source for brood fishes. Carps fish larvae and white fish (Mullet) larvae mostly feed on zooplankton [7]. Zooplankton is the main food item of Xenentodon cancila and while Cirrhina reba’s feed mainly constitutes of zooplankton [8]. About 82% of the food item of Anabas testudineus [9], 32% of Notoptrus notoptrus [10], 23% of Macrobrachium rosenbergii, 47% of Catla catla [11], 6.37% of Labeo rohita [11], 24.19% of Oreochromis nilotica [12], 38.5% of the Rohtee cotio [13] and 30% of Mystus vittatus [14].

Identification of zooplankton is crucial since it is very difficult to forecast the effect of environmental changes if taxonomic information is unknown [15-18]. The taxonomic along with diversity status information will help scientific programmers’ to design a new program [19-20]. Furthermore, zooplankton plays a significant role to develop the fisheries sector and increase the production level by determining the water quality and natural productivity. The seasonal variation of zooplankton composition is also a strong tool in this regard.

The effect of physico-chemical parameters of water in the species composition, abundance, and diversity of zooplankton determine the fish distribution [21]. Unfortunately, limited information is available on the seasonal variation of zooplankton and their relationship with the physico-chemical factors of water. Therefore, the zooplankton study is essential to know the dynamic of the fishery. Consequently, the present review study was conducted to know the total freshwater zooplankton species identified in Bangladesh so far.

Materials and Methods

Authors collected data from different databases or google search, using the keywords “Zooplankton in Bangladesh” or “Zooplankton in freshwater of Bangladesh” or “Zooplankton in river of Bangladesh” or “Taxonomic study of zooplankton in Bangladesh” or “Taxonomic checklist of zooplankton in Bangladesh” or “Distribution of zooplankton in river of Bangladesh” or “Zooplankton diversity in river in Bangladesh” or “Heavy metals in edible seaweed” or “Trace metals in seaweed” or “Distribution of zooplankton in freshwater of Bangladesh” or “Zooplankton diversity in freshwater in Bangladesh”, “Zooplankton in pond water of Bangladesh” or “Zooplankton in beel of Bangladesh” etc. Few images were not found for some species. 259-260 no. species images were taken from the authors another publication that’s why there are no references in image link sources.

Fresh/river water zooplankton status in Bangladesh

Zooplankton plays a significant role in aquatic ecosystems [22] by regulating the nutrient cycle and transportation of nutrients in lakes, rivers, estuary, and seas [23-26]. Physico-chemical factors and nutrient status of water control zooplankton biomass. Substantial research carried out in temperate and polar waters [27]. George [28], Krishnamurthy & Visvesvara [29], Sreenivasan [30] and Michael [31] conducted research on the ecology and zooplankton of India. Very few works done in Bangladesh by Das & Bhuiyan [32], Islam & Mendes [33], Khan et al. [34], Ali et al. [35], Zafar [36], Patra & Azadi [37], Bhuiyan et al. [38], Bhuiyan & Nessa [8,39-42]. In the present study, a total of 260 zooplankton species were recorded from freshwater or river water of Bangladesh. These species listed in Table 1 along with the image.


Some studies were found that worked up to a group or order level. The authors worked on the species level zooplankton species [43-48]. Most of the articles did not add images of the identified species and some added but could not be used either for copyright or for the quality of the image. Rather, authors used google search images from different websites citing the image link. Some species spelling was not found in google search; the author corrected the spelling [49-56]. There are some work may be done by different University students and Professors, but the authors used only published articles. Finally, this review study did not get any funding to conduct this research [57-61].

Table 1:


Zooplankton plays a vital role in the freshwater/ river ecosystem. They provide food and nutrients to the organisms belong to the upper stages of the food chain. They have a great impact on nutrient recycling. This review study will help the researchers to carry out the further taxonomic and advanced study on fresh/river water zooplankton.


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© 2020 Md. Simul Bhuyan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.