Diversity of aquatic insects and biomonitoring of water quality in the upper Ganga River, a Ramsar site: a preliminary assessment

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Kritish De
Arkojyoti Sarkar
Kritika Singh
Virendra Prasad Uniyal
Jeyaraj Antony Johnson
Syed Ainul Hussain


Monitoring of freshwater habitats through aquatic insects is widely used. A study was carried out in March, 2019 at 14 sites in the Upper Ganga River between Brijghat and Narora, a riverine Ramsar site in India, to document the diversity of three major aquatic predatory insect groups—Odonata, Coleoptera, and Hemiptera—and determine their biomonitoring potential. The study recorded three species of Coleoptera, four Hemiptera, 14 dragonflies, and eight damselflies. The Shannon diversity index (H′) ranged from 2.465 to 2.782, Pielou’s Evenness index (J′) from 0.841 to 0.894, and Berger–Parker index of dominance (d) from 0.122 to 0.243. Families Libellulidae (Odonata), Coenagrionidae (Odonata) and Gerridae (Hemiptera) had high relative abundance and dominant status. The stream invertebrate grade number-average level (SIGNAL2) score (for family) ranged from 2.316 to 3.174, lying within quadrant 2 of the SIGNAL2 (family) quadrant diagram. This suggested that the water in the area is likely to have high levels of turbidity, salinity, or nutrients, caused  naturally or by anthropogenic activities, and the water has low levels of most toxic chemicals.

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