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Studies on Some Lotic Systems in the North Eastern Region of India

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1. The influence of altitude and land-use changes on macroinvertebrate assemblages from riffles in forty-three streams in the Dolpo region of western Nepal were examined. Sampling sites ranged in altitude from 850 to 4250m, and land-use patterns fell into five categories: alpine, forest, grassland, pasture and agricultural land. 2. TWTNSPAN classification of physicochemical data separated streams into groups on the basis of climatic and physical factors. Streams from high, cold, alpine areas were separated from those in warmer, lower, agricultural areas. 3. In all, 138 macroinvertebrate taxa were collected from fifty-three insect families. Ephemeroptera were most common, especially Baetidae. 4. Taxonomic richness declined with increasing altitude. Ten insect families were significantly more abundant in lowland streams, and five were more common in alpine streams. 5. TWINSPAN and DECORANA revealed distinct invertebrate groupings of the forty-three streams surveyed. A high percentage of the variance (79.3%) in ordination space was explained by DECORANA axes 1 and 2. Altitude, temperature, stream width and land use were implicated in structuring invertebrate communities.
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Diversity, distribution, seasonal changes in density and relative abundance of Ephemeroptera nymphs were studied in five stations on three streams in and around Shillong, Meghalaya state, North-eastern India. Seventeen species belonging to eight genera and five families were recorded. Diversity (Shannon''s index) was governed by the heterogeneity of the substratum which in turn was influenced by catchment disturbances (quarrying, logging, and entry of sewage). Seasonal changes in density were governed by the spate-frequency regime of the streams. Relative abundance showed dominance of one or two species at impacted stations, while in less disturbed ones, a more equitable distribution of species was observed.
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