The present study observed variations in the morphological traits of hill trout, Barilius bendelisis (Hamilton, 1807) from Alaknanda basin of Central Himalaya. A total of 124 samples of B. bendelisis were collected from three different tributaries, Dugadda Gad, Khankhra Gad and Khandah Gad of Alaknanda river between March 2015 to April 2016. Ninety morphometric characters were measured for each specimen. Statistical tools, univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA), principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant function analysis (DFA) were used to differentiate the populations of B. bendelisis. PCA extracted eight significant morphometric traits explaining 87.9% of total variation among the three populations. DFA revealed that 83.1% specimens were retained into their original groups. Environmental factors were attributed to phenotypic variations among closely related populations. The present study is a first attempt on stock structure of B. bendelisis from different tributaries of Alaknanda river. The study will help in future conservation and management of this fish species across Uttarakhand region, India.
Barilius bendelisis, Hill trout, Intraspecific, Variability
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