Ecology of Zooplankton in the Rice Field Agro-ecosystems of Kashmir Valley (J and K) India.
The present study is an attempt to investigate the taxocoenosis and ecological attributes of zooplankton harboring the rice field agro-ecosystems of Kashmir. The main objective was to investigate the overall community composition of the yet unexplored zooplanktonic fauna of the rice field ecosystems of the valley. The study was carried at 6 spatially variable study sites located in different administrative zones of the valley. The investigation comprised of 8 fortnightly sampling spread over a complete cultivation cycle between May and August (2007). The overall zooplanktonic analysis of the rice fields revealed the presence of 28 genera belonging to 4 phylas. Arthropoda was the most dominant both qualitatively as well as quantitatively. It was represented by 15 genera and 1 larva distributed over 4 classes. Diversity was calculated by Shannon-Wiener Index (H’) and Margalefs Richness Index (d). Pulwama was the most diverse site whereas, Budgam was the least diverse site based on the results of biodiversity indices. Qualitatively, the dominance pattern registered by various study sites depicted the following trend: Bandipora, Budgam<Kupwara, Srinagar<Anantnag<Pulwama. The significant contribution of rice field ecosystems in maintaining the overall biodiversity of a region was highlighted.
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