Rotifer communities of Deepor Beel, Assam, India: richness, abundance and ecology

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B.K. Sharma


Plankton samples collected from two sampling stations of Deepor Beel (a Ramsar site in Assam, northeastern India) between November 2002 and October 2003, reveal 110 and 100 species of Rotifera, exhibit monthly richness ranging between 43-65 (56 plus or minus 6) and 38-60 (52 plus or minus 7) species and record 48.9-88.1 and 53.1-89.7% community similarities respectively. Rotifera (231 plus or minus 60 and 198 plus or minus 70 n/l) comprise between 48.7 plus or minus 6.1 and 42.6 plus or minus 4.1% of zooplankton abundance at station I and II respectively, and follow trimodal annual patterns with peaks during winter. Brachionidae (90 plus or minus 43, 79 plus or minus 39 n/l) > Lecanidae (45 plus or minus 13, 29 plus or minus 9 n/l) form important quantitative components of Rotifera while Asplanchnidae > Synchaetidae > Trochosphaeridae are other notable families. Lecane > Brachionus > Keratella > Asplanchna > Platyias contribute notably to temporal variations of the rotifers. Asplanchna priodonta, Keratella cochlearis, Platyias quadricornis, Lecane leontina, Polyarthra vulgaris, Keratella tropica and Brachionus falcatus are important species. Analysis of variance comparisons indicate significant temporal variations in richness and abundance of Rotifera between stations and months. The rotifer communities exhibit higher species diversity, higher evenness, lower dominance and lack of quantitative dominance of any individual species. The present results show no definite periodicity of richness and abundance of this group, families or species. Individual abiotic factors register limited influence on richness and abundance while multiple regression exhibits higher cumulative influence of ten abiotic factors on these parameters at both sampling stations.

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B.K. Sharma

B.K. Sharma is a Professor in Department of Zoology and Dean, School of Life Sciences and is a specialist in the fields of limnology and acquatic biodiversity

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