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Dr. S. Chandrasekaran  

Associate Professor
Department of Plant Sciences
Centre for Excellence in Genomic Sciences
School of Biological Sciences
Madurai Kamaraj University
Madurai-625 021


  • Impacts of Biological Invasions
  • Quantification of Ecosystem Services
  • Marine Ecology
  • Climate Change Studies
  • Molecular Ecology


E-mail: invasionecology@gmail.com; krishnanasc@yahoo.co.in
Phone: 09442059666 (M)

A brief write up about the research work

In the last decade along the coasts of Gulf of Mannar we sited the coral embedded Kappaphycus alvarezii, a Philippine derived red alga which has been introduced in the Gulf for mariculture. The undeniable report of the invasion of this alga over the branching corals Acropora sp. published in Current Science featured it in the news columns of the leading journals, Nature and Science and also in many local news papers and web sites. Responding to this report and various scientific inputs, the State Government started mechanical removal of this weed from the reserve and subsequently banned its cultivation along the coast of Tamilnadu. We are currently working on the impacts of Kappaphycus alvarezii on the coral reef ecosystem.
On the way to Gulf from Madurai along the banks of the river Vaigai we spotted Pterygoplichthys pardalis (Teleostei: Loricariidae), a South American endemic fish was introduced into Asia through aquarium fish trade and used as “tank cleaners” by aquarium hobbyists occupying the lentic ecosystems of Madurai and Ramanathapuram districts. Quantitative data on this inedible and unmarketable fish outranked all other edible fishes both in abundance and biomass production. The stringent establishment of this devilish fish in considerable lentic water system of Vaigai river basin revealed through our study undoubtedly indicated the need for multifaceted strategies including effective quarantine procedure to prevent the introduction of exotic ornamental fishes into the freshwater ecosystems and to reduce their adverse impacts, if any on fresh water aquaculture. At present we are working on the positive utilization of this invasive fish biomass as a control measure.

Ecosystem services

Natural ecosystems generate wide range of vital services for our sustainable life. These services are termed as ‘ecosystem services’. The ecosystem services and ecosystem functions are interdependent and inseparable in many cases as they constitute joint products of biotic-abiotic interaction of an ecosystem. There are adequate and alarming scientific information on rapid decline in many vital ecosystem services globally due to and array of anthropogenic pressure on global ecosystems especially in tropical countries, where biodiversity and ecosystems are constantly eroded at an presidential rate due to human interventions, environmental pollution, indiscriminate exploitation of bioresources, deforestation and inadequate as well as incorrect measures of natural landscapes. There are global demand for standard and reproducible methods and measures for quantifying and valuing the ecosystem services. We are currently working on methodologies to quantify the ecosystem services at regional scale in the Gulf of Mannar and Alagar hill forests.

Molecular Ecology     

The molecular biology tools are used to predict the native range of the exotic organisms (introduced through shipping) by using molecular markers.

 Climate Change Studies

Fourth assessment report of IPCC and other relevant literature acknowledge the increasing evidence of impact of rising sea temperature on marine biodiversity. We are currently using Mathematical and statistical models to predict the sea surface temperature for the next decades across the globe.


  1. Kamalakannan, B., Jeevamani, JJJ., Nagendran, NA., Pandiaraja, D., Krishnan Kutty, N. and  Chandrasekaran, S. 2010. Turbinaria sp. as victims to Kappaphycus alvarezii in reefs of Gulf of Mannar, India. Coral reefs, 29:1077
  1. Chandrasekaran, S. and Swamy, P.S. 2010. Growth patterns of Chromolaena odorata in varied ecosystems at Kodayar in the Western Ghats, India. Acta Oecologica, 36: 383-392.
  1. Chandrasekaran, S. Selvakumar, P. and Krishnankutty, N. 2010. Ecosystem disservices of an exotic weed Ipomoea carnea in the semi-aquatic ecosystems at Madurai, south India. In: Ecological Economics, S. Nautiyal and B.P. Nayak (Eds.), Institute for social and economic change, Bangalore, pp. 82-89.
  1. Chandrasekaran, S., Arun Nagendran, N., Pandiaraja, D., Krishnankutty, N. and Kamalakannan, B. 2008. Bioinvasion of Kappaphycus alvarezii on corals in the Gulf of Mannar, India. Current Science, 94: 1167-1172.
  1. Kamalakannan, B., Meenakshi Sundaram, M. and Chandrasekaran, S. 2008. Ecological studies on plant invasion in two dry deciduous forests in Tamil Nadu. In: Forest Biodiversity, Vol. I. K Muthuchelian; S Kannaiyan and A Gopalam (Eds.) Associated Publishing Company, New Delhi, pp. 112-125.
  1. Krishnankutty, N., and Chandrasekaran, S. 2007. Linnaeus 300: tips for tinkering morphological taxonomy. Current Science, 94: 565-567.
  1. Krishnankutty, N., and Chandrasekaran, S. 2007. Biodiversity hotspots: Defining the indefinable?. Current Science, 90: 1344-1345.
  1. Krishnankutty, N., Chandrasekaran, S. and Jeyakumar, G. 2006. Evaluation of disturbance in a tropical dry deciduous forest of Alagar hill (Eastern Ghats), South India. Tropical Ecology, 47: 47- 55.
  1. Krishnankutty, N., Jeyakumar, G. and Chandrasekaran, S. 2006. Behavioural analysis of bonnet macaque - human interaction in deciduous forest of Alagar Hill (Eastern Ghats), South India. Tropical Ecology, 47: 133-138. 
  1. Sundarapandian, SM., Chandrasekaran, S. and Swamy, P.S. 2005. Phenological behaviour of selected tree species in Western Ghats of Tamilnadu, India. Current Science, 88: 805 – 810.
  1. Chandrasekaran, S., Priyadarshini, A.L., Kamalakannan, B. and Ganesan, S. 2004. Impact of Prosopis juliflora on microbial diversity in the semi-arid region of Tamilnadu. Proceedings of the National Workshop on Biodiversity Resources Management and Sustainable Use edited by K. Muthuchelian, Centre for Biodiversity and Forest studies, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, pp.370-374.  
  1. Swamy, P.S. Sundarapandian, SM., Chandrasekar, P. and Chandrasekaran, S. 2000.  Plant species diversity and tree population structure of a humid tropical forest in Tamil Nadu, India. Biodiversity and Conservation, 9: 1643 – 1669.
  1. Chandrasekaran, S. and Swamy, P.S. 2002. Biomass, litterfall and aboveground net primary productivity of herbaceous communities in varied ecosystems at Kodayar in the western ghats of Tamil Nadu.  Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 88: 61 - 71. 
  1. Chandrasekaran,   S., Sundarapandian, SM., Chandrasekar, P. and Swamy, P.S. 2001. Exotic plant invasions in disturbed and man- modified forest ecosystem in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu. In: Tropical Forestry Research: Challenges in the New Millenniu,  R.V. Varma et al., (Eds.), KFRI, Peechi, pp.32-39.
  1. Sundarapandian, SM., Chandrasekaran, S and Swamy, P.S. 1999. Variation in fine root biomass and net primary productivity due to conversation of tropical forest into forest plantations.  Tropical Ecology, 40: 135 – 142.
  1. Sundarapandian, SM. Chandrasekaran,   S. and Swamy, P.S. 1999. Ecological status of Tropical forest at Kodayar in the Western Ghats of Tamilnadu. In: Sustainable Environment, N.Sukumaran (Ed.), Sri Paramakalyani centre for Environmental Sciences, M.S. University, Tirunelveli, pp.104-116.
  1. Swamy, P.S., Chandrasekaran, S. and Sundarapandian, SM. 1998.  Impact of developmental activities on the ecosystem process at Kodayar in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, Zoo’s Print, XIII (2): 10-12. 
  1. Chandrasekaran, S. Swamy, P.S. and Paliwal, K. 1998. Impact of monoculture plantations on the ecosystem process at Kodayar in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu.  Zoo’s Print, XIII (2): 13-15.
  1. Swamy, P.S., Sundarapandian, SM. and Chandrasekaran, S. 1998.  Sacred groves of Tamil Nadu. In: Conversing the Sacred. P.S. Ramakrishnan, K.G. Saxena and U.M. Chandrashekara, (Eds.), Oxford and IBH, New Delhi, pp. 357 – 361.  
  1. Chandrasekaran, S., Sundarapandian, SM and Swamy, P.S. 1997. Contribution of Exotic weeds to plant community structure and primary production in successional fallows at Kodayar in Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu.  International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 23: 381 – 388.
  1. Swamy, P.S. and Chandrasekaran, S. 1997. Role of Mikania micrantha in potassium conservation during fallow re-growth following slash and burn Agriculture. In: Frontiers in Plant Science, I.A. Khan (Ed.), The Book Syndicate, Hyderabad, pp. 189-194.
  1. Sundarapandian, SM., Chandrasekaran, S. and Swamy, P.S. 1996. Influence of disturbance on fine root biomass and productivity in two deciduous forests of Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu.  Current Science, 70: 242 – 245.
  1. Rajan P., Sundarapandian, SM., Chandrasekaran, S and Swamy, P.S. 1996.  Vegetation structure and regeneration potential of a deciduous forests at Alagar hills, Madurai. Environment and Ecology, 14: 182-188.
  1. Swamy, P.S. Sundarapandian, SM. and Chandrasekaran, S. 1996. Farming systems in the forested landscapes of Western Ghats.  . In: Conservation and Management of Biological Resources in Himalaya, P.S. Ramakrishnan, A.N. Purohit, K.G.Saxena, K.S. Rao, R.K. Maikhuri, (Eds.), Oxford and IBH, New Delhi, pp. 292 – 301.  
  1. Chandrasekaran, S. and Swamy, P.S. 1996.  Cropping and yield pattern of agroforestry and agro-ecosystems practiced by Kani tribes at Kodayar in Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, South India. In: Studies in Indian Agroecosystesm, P.S. Pathak and B. Gobal (Eds.), National Institute of Ecology, New Delhi, pp. 21-33.
  1. Chandrasekaran, S. and Swamy, P.S. 1995. Changes in herbaceous vegetation following disturbance due to biotic interference in natural and man-made ecosystems in Western Ghats.  Tropical Ecology, 36:213-220.
  1. Rajan, P., Sundarapandian, SM., Chandrasekaran, S. and Swamy, P.S. 1995.  Variation in soil seed bank at different microsites in deciduous forest near Madurai, South India.  International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 21: 263 – 272.