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Shailza Negi A. K. Dobriyal Pankaj Bahuguna

Abstract

Hydrachnidia is an important group of aquatic invertebrates. They play an important role in regulating other invertebrate populations, thus influencing the composition and functionality of river ecosystems. The present study aims to assess the habitat ecology, density and diversity of aquatic mites in the Khankra gad, Rudraprayag district for a period of two year on a monthly basis, from July 2018 to June 2020. The Khankra gad is a perennial spring-fed stream originating from the Bansoun peak in district-Rudraprayag of Garhwal Himalaya (800 m asl). A total of 2537 Hydrachnidia samples were collected, belonging to 6 families viz, Torrenticolidae, Sperchontidae, Feltriidae, Hygrobatidae, Lebertiidae and Aturidae. Sperchontidae, Torrenticolidae and Hygrobatidae were the common families recorded in both spots, whereas Feltriidae was recorded in Spot-1, Lebertiidae and Aturidae were recorded in Spot-2. The highest numbers (1842) of Hydrachnidia were collected from Spot-2.  A total of 19 aquatic mite species were recorded in Spot-1 and 25 species in Spot-2 throughout the study period. Aquatic mites showed maximum density (177 units.m-2 in Spot-1 and 274units.m-2 in Spot-2) in December and minimum (11 units.m-2 in Spot-1 and 17 units.m-2 in Spot-2) in July. Various ecological parameters of our study indicated that Khankra gad is a good habitat for aquatic mites.

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Keywords

Water mites, Density, Diversity, Habitat ecology, Uttarakhand

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Negi, S., Dobriyal, A. K., & Bahuguna, P. . (2021). Biodiversity and monthly density fluctuations of water mites in Khankra gad, a spring-fed tributary of river Alaknanda, Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand, India . Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 13(1), 258-267. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v13i1.2568
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