Climate change induced sea level rise (SLR) added with anthropogenically altered environment leads to rapid land dynamics in terms of erosion and accretion; and alteration in species diversity and productivity, more pronouncedly in sensitive ecosystems such as river deltas. Here, we tried to analyze the historical records to understand the SLR with respect to hydrological conditions, sedimentation and morphological processes. We analyzed the land transformation of few islands in Indian Sunderbans using maps and satellite images in increasing order of temporal frequency between 1924 and 2008, which revealed that both the erosion and accretion processes go hand in hand. Increase of downstream salinity due obstruction in upstream has led to decrease in transparency of water causing decrease in phytoplankton and fish, density and diversity in the central sector of Indian Sunderbans. Analysis of the above ground biomass of three dominant mangrove species (Sonneratia apetala, Avicennia alba and Excoecaria agallocha) revealed better growth in the western sector compared to the central sector. The study reveals the cumulative effect of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance on the diversity and productivity in World's largest ecosystem; and advocates mangrove plantation and effective management of freshwater resources for conservation of the most vulnerable and sensitive ecosystem. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.