Zooplankton fauna of Moraghat forest, a territorial forest of Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal, India

In the present study the zooplankton fauna at diverse water bodies of Moraghat forest was investigated from March, 2013 to November, 2014. Five study sites were selected at total forest range, of which three are lentic and two are lotic systems. Seasonally samples were collected from the selected study sites: S1 (Pond of Totapara beat), S2 (pond of Khuttimari beat), S3 (Pond of Gossaihat beat), S4 (Garati River which passes out through the forest) and S5 (Nonai River which passes through the Sonakhali beat). A total 53 established holoplanktons species and 5 meroplankton representatives were recorded throughout the entire study. Of these 53 holoplanktons, Sarcomastigophora and Ciliophora are the phyla of kingdom Protista contributed 3 representatives; Rotifer added 26 species with 24 Arthropods. The species richness in five sampling sites showed considerable variation. S3 (47 species) and S2 (46 species) were the most biologically diverse. S5 had 44 and S4 had 40 species whereas S1 had 36 representatives. The species diversity index of different sampling sites was ranged from 1.347 to 1.791. In the study, maximum diversity index was recorded higher in S3 (H=1.791) as compared with S2 (H=1.711), S5 (H=1.637), S4 (H=1.223) and S1 (H= 0.874). This may be due to the physicochemical properties of water, substratum soil features and phytoplankton loads.

Author(s): Amal Kumar Patra, Vaskar Das, Tanmay Datta and Santanu Ghosh Dastidar

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