COMPARATIVE ECOLOGY OF FRESHWATER FISH COMMUNITIES IN VINDHYA-SATPURA RIFT VALLEY AND HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS IN INDIA
Despite their rich biodiversity, ecosystems (especially stream fish communities) in India are largely understudied. Here, we explore freshwater fish communities in very contrasting landscapes and investigate similarities in community structure and function. 20 stream sites were sampled in the states of Madhya Pradesh 'MP' (central India) and West Bengal 'WB' (Himalayan foothills in eastern India). Sampling was conducted during winter, pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons between 2015 and 2017. Species accumulation curves indicate WB to be more speciose than MP. Fish diversity was highest in the pre-monsoon in both regions. Stepwise regression models reveal pH and water temperature as influential common environmental drivers. GLMMs (with season as a random factor), show no or very little effect of season on community structure. In terms of temporal dynamics, communities were found to be nested within each other, with one season acting as a source for community composition for other seasons. Our results reveal that similar environmental factors determine fish diversity and composition in these two regions, despite their geographical contrasts. This indicates towards likely occurrence of common mechanisms that drive fish community structure across diverse eco-regions.
Rubina Mondal (Primary Presenter/Author), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, email@example.com;
Anuradha Bhat (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, firstname.lastname@example.org;