RICHNESS, ABUNDANCE AND ECOLOGY OF ROTIFERA OF LOKTAK LAKE, MANIPUR (NORTHEASTERN INDIA)B.K. Sharma
Rotifera, the most diverse group of zooplankton of Loktak Lake (a Ramsar site), reveal 104 and 85 species, show monthly richness between 57 ± 10 and 48 ± 6 species and record 51.8-78.4 % and 52.0-81.6 % community similarities during two years of the study period respectively. Richness follows multimodal annual patterns and exhibits winter peaks. Rotifera (84-188; 125 ± 25 n/l) form an important quantitative component (39.4-65.2 %) of zooplankton; abundance follows multinnodal and trimodal patterns of variations with peaks during autumn-winter (1st year) and during winter (2nd year). Lecanidae > Brachionidae notably influence quantitative variations of this group. ANOVA registers significant annual and monthly variations of richness and abundance.The present results indicate no definite periodicity of occurrence or abundance of any family, group or species of Rotifera. The rotifer communities are characterized by higher species diversity, higher evenness and lower dominance, and exhibit relatively lower numbers (density) of majority of species. Richness is positively correlated with specific conductivity, dissolved oxygen and records negative correlations with hardness, chloride and total dissolved solids. Abundance is negatively correlated with pH, hardness, nitrate, chloride and total dissolved solids. Multiple regression registers higher cumulative influence of 15 abiotic factors on temporal variations of richness and abundance.
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