Zooplankton Diversity of a Soft-water and Highly De-mineralized Reservoir of Meghalaya (Northeast India): The Spatio-temporal Variations and Influence of Abiotic Factors


  • Bhushan Kumar Sharma Department of Zoology, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya, 793022, India
  • Sumita Sharma Lady Veronica Road, Shillong, Meghalaya, 793003, India




Hydrobiological survey of a ‘soft-water’ and ‘highly de-mineralized’ reservoir of Meghalaya state of northeast India is undertaken to analyze zooplankton diversity with reference to the spatio-temporal variations and influence of abiotic factors. The littoral and limnetic zooplankton assemblages of this subtropical reservoir without aquatic vegetation reveal total 36 species, and record lower abundance, quantitative dominance of Rotifera, sub-dominance of Cladocera and Copepoda and moderate species diversity. Keratella cochlearis, Bosmina longirostris, Polyarthra vulgaris, Mesocyclops leuckarti, Conochilus unicornis and Asplanchna priodonta influence abundance, species diversity, dominance and equitability of zooplankton. We report differential spatial influence of individual abiotic factors with the relatively more importance at the limnetic region, and the canonical correspondence analysis registers 72.5% and 78.8% cumulative influence of 10 abiotic factors on the littoral and limnetic assemblages, respectively. The spatial differences of various diversity aspects and the influence of abiotic factors suggest habitat heterogeneity amongst the two regions. This study is a useful contribution to zooplankton diversity of the subtropical environs, and soft and de-mineralized waters in particular. Our results mark a distinct contrast to the lowest richness and abundance of zooplankton noted from India vide the preliminary 1990-91 survey of this reservoir.


De-mineralized, Diversity, Rainwater-fed, Very soft-water, Subtropical reservoir


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