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International Journal of Zoology and Applied Biosciences

Year : 2022 | Volume: 7 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 39-53

doi: https://doi.org/10.55126/ijzab.2022.v07.i06.006

Assessment of ichthyofaunal diversity and identification of habitat specialist fishes along altitudinal gradient in river Murti, West bengal

Adwitiya Chaudhuri

Received on: 2022-10-14

Revised on: 2022-10-22

Accepted on: 2022-11-2

Published on: 11/15/2022

  • Adwitiya Chaudhuri( 2022).

    Assessment of ichthyofaunal diversity and identification of habitat specialist fishes along altitudinal gradient in river Murti, West bengal

    . International Journal of Zoology and Applied Biosciences, 7( 6), 39-53.

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Abstract

Despite of being rich in fish biodiversity, the freshwater resources of India are currently experiencing an alarming decline due to several factors. River conservation and management activities in most countries, including India, suffer from inadequate knowledge of the constituent biota. This emphasizes an immediate need for initiating global research to develop alternative conservation planning schemes to protect the biodiversity of these freshwater aquatic systems. So, the present study was aimed at monitoring ichthyofaunal diversity, richness and abundance of river Murti in relation to different habitat types. Fishes were collected from four different sites along altitudinal gradient in river Murti, West Bengal. Key parameters responsible for structuring such habitat types and fish assemblage pattern were also assessed to identify habitat specialist fish fauna. A total of 40 species representing 27 genera, 16 families and 5 orders were collected, where Cyprinidae was found to be the most abundant fish family followed by Channidae and Mastacembelidae and the fish assemblage was found to be most diverse at the plains compared to hilly terrains. Whittaker’s β diversity showed highest value between the sites situated at highest and lowest altitude. Four species namely Neolissochilus hexagonolepis (McClelland, 1839),Garra gotyla gotyla (Gray, 1830), Acanthocobitis botia (Hamilton, 1822) and Danio dangila (Hamilton, 1822)were found to prefer four different sites and may be termed as habitat specialists. Such thorough understanding of this aquatic system and its biodiversity may assist in decision making and policy framing that lead to sustainable water use practices.

Keywords

Altitudinal gradient, Conservation, Ichthyofaunal diversity, Habitat specialist, Whittaker’ s ? diversity.