Metricas troficas y de comunidades de peces como medidas de la degradacion ecologica: un estudio de caso en los afluentes de la cuenca del rio Ganga, India.
Knowledge in trophic ecology of any given system is fundamental in understanding the ecosystem as a whole (Cruz-Escalona et al. 2000). Fishes are good indicators of freshwater ecosystems functioning, and of the ecological integrity of river systems, because their ability to occupy multiple trophic levels (Schlosser 1985, Schiemer & Spindler 1989, Copp et al. 1991). The responses of particular communities, especially fish, within the aquatic ecosystems may reflect the amount of degradation of that system (Wichert & Rapport 1998,). Because of the specific habitat requirements, fish species strongly depend on the water characteristics and its dynamics, as they have long been used to quantify the effects of disturbance in the environment (Magoulick 2004, Smol 2010).
In India, the tributaries of river Ganga basin, that support rich biodiversity and offer livelihood and nutritional security, has been less studied with regard to fish community and trophic ecology. Studies have been limited to scattered works on commercial fisheries based on catch data and have been largely restricted to the major river systems (Mishra & Moza 1997, Payne et al. 2004). To fulfill the water demand and mitigate flood and drought, the Indian Government has been planning a huge scheme encompassing the Himalayas and most of India, by linking all major rivers through interlinking canals systems and building several dams. Thirty river interlinks have been identified and among these, river Betwa and Ken have been approved for the country's first River interlinking (NDWA 2005). The KenBetwa interlink (KBI) involves building a dam on river Ken and diverting the water to Betwa through a link canal. Both the rivers are perennial tributaries of river Yamuna (tributary of river Ganga). River Betwa supports an exceedingly rich species spectrum of threatened, migratory and commercially important fishes with a wide distribution of species, families and genera (Lakra et al. 2010). The presence of threatened fishes of regional conservation concern in the river also makes it a high priority area for implementing urgent conservation and management measures to save them from further endangerment. Presently, the fish fauna of the River Betwa is highly threatened due to presence of dams and water diversions resulting in fragmentation of habitat, and have been subjected to extensive anthropogenic alterations (Lakra et al. 2010). On the other hand, in river Ken, the presence of a protected area (Panna National Park) on the upper stretch and forest cover on the mid stretch of the river, tends to have positive impacts on its aquatic habitat, and is known as one of the least polluted rivers in India (Dubey et al. 2012). However, as far as we know, no broad general synthesis of trophic metrics of the fish fauna following ecological assessment of these tropical rivers has yet been published to date.
Several studies have proved that changes in environmental conditions are reflected in corresponding alterations of aquatic community structure and ecosystem functioning (Strayer 2010, Turak & Linke 2011). Therefore, to appreciate the influence of the interlinking on the ecosystem of both rivers, studies are urgently needed to assess the existing (pre-interlinking) scenario. Analysis of fish community structure and trophic metrics in the existing conditions will provide the basic knowledge for evaluation of the ecological conditions of both rivers. The objective of this study was to describe the fish community of these two rivers, and to classify trophic attributes and evaluate the ecological condition by comparing the trophic metrics, and to develop an efficient approach to measure the ecological quality of the tropical rivers as a prerequisite to India's first river interlinking.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Study area: The River Betwa (1 800[degrees] N-77[degrees]34 E', 590km length and discharge of 10 000 million [m.sup.3]) and the River Ken (24[degrees]41 N' -079[degrees]54 E', 427km and 11 300 million [m.sup.3]) are important perennial rivers of the Ganga basin (Fig. 1). The Betwa river is regulated by three large dams (Rajghat, Matatila and Paricha) and two small dam/weirs in the middle and upper stretch of the river. The topography and elevation (ranging from 700 to 300m above mean sea level) cause variation in land use, from flat open wheat and gram growing areas to steep forest-covered hills (Lakra et al. 2010). The Ken River is an interstate river between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, that has its origin from the Ahirgawan village, on the Northwest slopes of the Kaimur hills in the Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh (Dubey et al. 2012). Land cover of the river is largely composed of grasslands, mature forest, marshy lowlands and some small villages. The width of both river channels varies considerably with location, discharge, and the number of channels on a cross section. Both rivers experience similar times of drought and flood. The climate of the basin is mainly semi-arid to dry sub-humid. The basin area is mostly dry except in monsoon season, from June to October, when about 91.5% of the total annual rainfall occurs.
Selection of sampling sites: The present study encompassed 590km of Betwa and 460km of River Ken. Based on the similarity of the physical habitat and distance coverage, each site (approximately 110km) in Betwa and Ken (approximately 90km) consisted of five sampling locations which were located starting from upstream to downstream section of both rivers: Bhojpur (B1), Ganjbasoda (B2), Rajghat (B3), Paricha (B4) and Hamirpur (B5) in river Betwa, and Amanganj (K1), Patan (K2), Mandala (K3), Banda (K4) and Chilla (K5) in river Ken. The study was carried out on a seasonal basis covering premonsoon (January to April), monsoon (May to August) and post monsoon (September to December) periods during October 2007 to November 2009.
Collection of water quality parameters: Physical and chemical water quality data was sampled systematically at each site across a transect spanning the river width. Samples were collected at a distance of every 10m at varying river width, and three replicates were collected for water quality at each sampling point. Water samples were collected in 500mL plastic containers and kept cooled in iceboxes in the field and transferred to the laboratory where they were deep frozen until analysis (4[degrees]C). The following physical and chemical parameters were studied: water depth (cm), water temperature ([degrees]C), Turbidity (NTU), water flow (cm/s), conductivity ([imhos/cm), total dissolved solids (ppm) and pH. Water temperature, conductivity, pH, TDS, DO were measured by a Cyber Scan Waterproof PC 300 multiparameter at the sampling locations. Water velocity was measured by a flow meter (JDC electronics SA; Switzerland). Alkalinity, nitrate, nitrite, orthophosphate, ammonia and turbidity were measured with a spectrophotometer (Spectroquant NOVA 60, Merck, Germany) within the next two days after their collection as per Eaton et al. (2005).
Fish community sampling: Fish samplings were undertaken in the same site where environmental variables were measured at varying depths. Fishing was carried out both by members of the project team as well as the expertise of local fisher folks. Fishes were collected using gill nets (mesh 2.5x2.5cm; 3x3cm; 7x7cm; length x breadth=50x1.3 m.; 50x1m.), cast nets (mesh 6x6mm.), drag nets (mesh 7x7mm, LxB=80x2.5m.) and other local contrivances, allowing us to sample a range of fish sizes and minimize the bias due to specific gears. Gill netting and cast netting was done by using a boat. At each site, four-gill nets were deployed overnight (17:00-07:00h). The cast nets (5.5 [m.sup.2]) were thrown 30 times per site, covering about 100 [m.sup.2] of river segments allowing 3-5 minutes settled times in each cast. Drag nets were used covering 175 [m.sup.2] area for 60min, whereas fry nets were used in the shoreline areas of the river for 20min twice per site (Lakra et al. 2010).
Representative specimens of all fish species were fixed in 10% formaldehyde, and transferred to the laboratory for study. They were also subsequently identified by following standard literature by Jayaram (1999) and Talwar & Jhingran (1991). Sets of indicators, i.e., weight, habitat orientation, trophic structure were examined. Data regarding threats faced by the fish fauna were obtained by direct observation, and also by interactions with local stakeholders and fishermen. The conservation status of fish was adapted from Lakra & Sarkar (2006).
Trophic structure and score: Based on the feeding habitat, fishes were classified into various trophic groups (Karr et al. 1986, OPEA 1987). The gut contents of fishes were analyzed for both rivers and four types of trophic level of fishes were considered (planktivorous=PL, benthic feeder=BE, omnivorous=OM, carnivorous=CA) and recorded (Table 3). The trophic level score (Wichert & Rapport 1998, Gauch 1982, Das & Chakrabarty 2007) indicated the relative frequency of the fish using a particular trophic level among all the trophic levels available in that aquatic system. For example, there were 21 species of carnivorous fish in the Betwa river out of a total of 63 species. The score is thus 100 x (21/63) or 33.33 (Table 3).
Habitat orientation and score: Based on the previous knowledge of feeding habits provided by FISHBASE (www.fishbase.org) and Jhingran (1997) fishes were classified into three general groups with respect to habitat orientation: pelagic (P), generalist (G) and benthic (B). Habitat orientation score denotes the relative frequency of the fish using a particular habitat among all the habitats available in that aquatic system (Wichert & Rapport 1998, Gauch 1982). For example, there were 14 species of benthic fish in the Betwa river out of a total of 63 species. The score was thus 100 x (14/63) or 22.22 (Table 3). A t-test was performed for common fishes between the rivers to compare the results of the scores.
Similarity and dissimilarity indices to identify indicator species: Sorensen's coefficient (SC) (Sorensen 1948) developed an index called the similarity index, which measures similarity between two habitats (habitats A and B).
SC = 2a/[2a + b + c]
Where, a=number of species common for two habitats, 6=number of species present in habitat B but absent in habitat A, c=number of species present at site A, but absent in site B. The index value varies between 0 and 1. Zero indicates no similarity and 1 indicates maximum similarity. Calculated Sorensen's coefficients (SC) for the fish resources were calculated between the two rivers to identify the apparent pollution indicator species (Gauch 1982, Benson & Magnuson 1992, Odum & Barett 2005).
An additional composition attribute was Bray-Curtis dissimilarity (BCD), a coefficient shown to be a robust and ecologically interpretable index of changes in species composition (Legendre & Legendre 1998). BCD was calculated using the (n=67) taxa abundance data (standardized using log10 (X+1) transformation; Legendre & Legendre 1998).
The Bray-Curtis measure (B) is a measure of dissimilarity; hence 1-B is taken as a measure of similarity: where the values are in between 0 to 1.
B = [summation] [Xij - Xjk]/[summation][Xij + Xjk]
Where, Xj = number of individuals of ith species in sample or habitat or community j and Xik = number of individuals of ith species in sample or habitat or community k.
All the calculations were performed using SPSS software (16.1).
Water quality: Aquatic habitat sampled in the river Betwa and Ken was common for the large river channels. The habitat structure was considerably different over the sites examined with water regulations. Several dams and reservoirs in the middle and upper stretch regulate the river habitat in Betwa and as a result, the channel is fragmented, and isolated pools and shallow water habitats can be found throughout the year, except during the wet season (July-August). The results on the various hydrobiological characteristics of the studied rivers were given in tables 1 and 2. The water temperature of the river fluctuated between 16.5-22.0[degrees]C (winter) and 23.1-26.5[degrees]C (summer) for Betwa and 17-19[degrees]C (winter) and 24.4-26.8[degrees]C (summer) for Ken. The maximum water flow was measured during June (3.5m/sec) at site B (IV) in Betwa and (1.3m/sec) at site K1 in Ken. During winter months, the water velocity ranged between 0-1m/sec in all the sampling sites of both the rivers. Turbidity was higher during peak monsoon periods (June-August) in both rivers (98.9 for Betwa & 45.3 for Ken), and it was considerably improved in Ken (5.210.3) and Betwa (3.2-22.4) during winter and premonsoon months. Water conductivity was relatively high with an average of 534.5uS/ cm in Betwa downstream and 623.4uS/cm in Ken upstream, indicating higher concentration of dissolved materials. Total dissolved solids (TDS) and alkalinity showed similar trends of seasonal fluctuation in all the sampling sites studied for both rivers. The concentration of dissolved oxygen (DO) showed a range of 2.68-10.2 in Betwa and 3.2-10.5 in Ken. The total hardness varied from 189-249mg/L in Betwa and 110 to 240mg/L in Ken, and resulted higher in both rivers down streams. The mean level of annual concentration of N[O.sub.3] was higher in Betwa than Ken, and fluctuated between 0.12-4.2 in river Betwa and 0.04 to 2.8mg/L in river Ken. The average concentration of N[O.sub.2] was higher in Betwa and was negligible in Ken. The pH values showed definite seasonal trend, and it ranged between 7.2-8.7 in Betwa and 7.1-8.8 in Ken.
Fish community and trophic indices: In the present study a total of 67 species representing 49 genera and 21 families were recorded from river Betwa and Ken (Table 3). River Betwa showed a higher richness with 63 species, 20 families and 45 genera, when compared to Ken, with 57 species, 20 families and 42 genera. The maximum species richness in river Betwa was recorded at site B2, followed by site B3 (46 species) and low species richness was recorded at site B4 in the lower stretch (Fig. 2). In river Ken, the maximum species richness (37 species) was recorded at K2 and the minimum from site K4, located in the lower stretches of the river channel. Assessment of the fish species threat status in both rivers showed eight species as endangered (EN), 14 species as vulnerable, 29 species under lower risk and data on 12 species were not available to categorize them under any threat category. Out of 22 threatened species (EN and VU) in Betwa and 19 species in Ken, the lowest abundance of threatened species was recorded at B4 of Betwa and K4 of river Ken (Fig. 2).
The analysis of trophic niches for the different sampling sites sampled in both rivers, indicated dominancy of carnivorous species (19) in river Ken and of omnivorous species (23) in Betwa (Table 4). For other groups like benthic feeder a total of (9) species were recorded in Ken whereas less were found in Betwa (six species). Data on species habitat orientation revealed the dominancy of pelagic fish species in both rivers (28 in Betwa and 24 species in Ken), and that these were followed by general and benthic ones.
The trophic level score of carnivorous species was recorded similar (33.33%) in both rivers, whereas it was higher for omnivorous species in Betwa (36.51%) than Ken (28.07%). The relative abundance of top carnivore species in river Ken like N. notopterus (1.21%), S. aor (2.41%), S. seenghala (2.91%), M. tengara (2.16%), R. rita (5.23%) andX. cancilla (5.9%) showed higher abundances than for Betwa. On the other hand, the relative abundance of omnivorous species like P. ranga (5.31%), R. daniconius (3.05%), P. amphibious (2.85%), P. chola (2.45%) and R. corsula (1.66%) were recorded higher in Betwa than river Ken (Table 3). The mean score for habitat orientation was 35.8 ([+ or -] 8.8) for Betwa and 34.87 ([+ or -] 7.06) for Ken showed no major differences between the two rivers, but the mean trophic level score of river Betwa (29.25% [+ or -] 9.34) was recorded higher than Ken (26.9% [+ or -] 6). The biodiversity of the fishes, present in the two rivers was comparatively different as river Ken has 1.1 times fewer fish species than the Betwa.
In both rivers, variations in the trophic and habitat metrics were also recorded among the sampling sites. The mean habitat orientation score in Betwa was recorded higher at site B4 (57.03 [+ or -] 12.3) and lower at B1 (36.7 [+ or -] 8.6), whereas in river Ken, no major differences were recorded among the sampling sites (Fig. 3). The mean trophic level score was recorded higher at B4 (38 [+ or -] 8.3) and lower at B1 (27.2 [+ or -] 4.2) in river Betwa, whereas in Ken, it was higher at K4 (35.5 [+ or -] 8.2) and lower at K2 (26.7 [+ or -] 5.2). The data for similarity index (Sorensen's coefficient) showed its least value (0.68) and dissimilarity index (Bray-Curtis) showed its maximum value (0.32) for carnivore species among four types of trophic level fishes (Table 4). The similarity showed its higher values among habitat orientation of fishes. The Bray-Curtis index for trophic level identified the carnivore species (>0.32) as an indicator for pollution.
Alterations in water quality or other habitat conditions, including land use pattern in the watershed, commonly result in shifting availabilities of many food resources and changes in the fish community that can then be measured (Karr 1981). In our study, the downstream area (B4 and B5, especially in Betwa) was expected to be a cause of concern, due to the possible effects caused by the discharges from the thermal power plant and several dams, that have resulted in a fragmented channel and the formation of isolated pools and shallow water habitats. The excess of nitrite, total hardness, and turbidity in these sites of Betwa were the main causes of pollution and loss of biodiversity. The degraded conditions of the lower stretches in river Betwa have also been confirmed, in a recent study by Lakra et al. (2010). On the other hand, in river Ken, the water quality was improved as compared to Betwa, although the shallow water depth in the upper stretch, and dams and weirs located up to the middle stretches, were the cause of habitat modification.
Variations in species composition among the different sampling sites in both rivers indicated that altered habitats support less biological communities (Arunachalam 2000). Relatively undisturbed sites of Betwa (B1, B2 and B3) and Ken (K2, K3 and K5) were characterized by a diverse fish fauna, which included high richness of threatened species in a variety of habitats. The mean trophic level score was recorded higher at B4 of Betwa and K4 of river Ken. This indicated that the fishes of those sites were likely responding to ecosystem stress (Rapport 1995), resulting in degradation of fish community structure compared to other sites in both rivers. In contrast, high diversity of fish species, in B2 and K2 represents a variety of suitable habitats and food types, to support many different species (Growns et al. 2003, Raghavan et al. 2008, Dubey et al. 2012).
It is evident that, in a changing ecosystem, omnivorous are able to consume food from a variety of sources (Wichert & Rapport 1998), and this could be a possible reason that the diversity and abundance of omnivorous species in Betwa was recorded higher than in river Ken. Furthermore, the higher abundance of omnivorous species in Betwa indicated that they are more able to tolerate the degraded habitats of the river than other groups. A recent study by Das & Chakrabarty (2007) also indicated that in a least disturbed system, a higher proportion of species present would belong to the benthic feeders and carnivorous groups than at heavily degraded sites. As degradation intensifies, those species at the top of the trophic structure, i.e., the carnivorous, would disappear first, followed in sequence by benthic insectivorous, general insectivorous, planktivorous and omnivorous (Wichert & Rapport 1998).
In conclusion, it appears that due to habitat regulation by several dams, fragmented water channel and pollution, the structural properties of fish communities in the lower stretches (B4 of Betwa and K4 of Ken) of both rivers were affected; as a result, low species richness and lower abundance of threatened species were recorded. On the other hand, the data on the utilization of trophic ecology showed dominancy of omnivorous fishes in Betwa and more precisely in the lower stretches indicating that our metrics may be useful for assessing altered as well as less altered fish habitat of both rivers, and also for other tropical rivers in an Indian river system. In this study, the habitat orientation score did not appear to be a useful indicator of ecosystem stress. It is in agreement with Rapport (1995) as the habitat orientation score is not an indicator for ecosystem stress in lotic environments.
Our results presented herein provided for the first time an assessment of the trophic metrics of fish community in rivers Betwa and Ken, Central India. Evidently, this can be used to prioritize sites and to guide protection and management activities, and support restoration efforts of relatively altered fish habitats of both the rivers. The present investigation on the trophic structure of the fishes serves as a basis to plan management strategies for the rivers premeditated for the India's first interlinking in which morphodynamics changes will have catastrophic effect on the fish community in near future (in the post interlinking phases). However, further detailed studies are required to quantify the changes to predict a future action plan to check further loss of aquatic biodiversity.
The authors are grateful to Director, NBFGR for providing necessary facilities and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India for financial support.
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Vineet Kumar Dubey, Uttam Kumar Sarkar *, Ajay Pandey & Wazir Singh Lakra
National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, Canal Ring Road, Dilkusha, Lucknow- 226002, India; firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
* Corresponding author
Received 02-XII-2011. Corrected 06-X-2012. Accepted 06-XI-2012.
TABLE 1 Mean and range values of hydrobiological characteristics (SD in parentheses) of river Betwa (B1-B5) Parameters B1 B2 Depth (m) 0.35-5 2-5.2 2.8([+ or -] 1.23) 3.47([+ or -] 1.05) Flow (m/sec) 0.1-0.8 0.1-0.45 0.28([+ or -] 0.18) 0.26([+ or -] 0.21) Water 19.2-23.1 19.6-26.5 temp.([degrees]C) 22.2([+ or -] 1.6) 23.7([+ or -] 1.1) Turbidity (FNU) 10.2-25.4 18.1-39.6 17.8([+ or -] 4.4) 26.56([+ or -] 7.5) TDS (mg/L) 76-171 172-295 135([+ or -] 31.1) 249.1([+ or -] 5.1) pH 7.2-8.6 7.34-8.7 7.8([+ or -] 0.45) 8.02([+ or -] 0.4) Conductivity 166-678 362-582 ([micro]S/cm) 374([+ or -] 198.7) 469.23 ([+ or -] 91.8) D.O (ppm) 4.2-6.9 4.32-8.2 5.18([+ or -] 1.0) 6.75([+ or -] 3.2) Alkalinity (mg/L) 142-256 105-198 183.08([+ or -] 35.7) 147.9([+ or -] 30.5) Total hardness 144-189 176-189 (mg/L) 169.7([+ or -] 11.46) 183.35([+ or -] 5.7) Ammonia (mg/L) 0.01-0.87 0.14-0.74 0.17([+ or -] 0.3) 0.4([+ or -] 0.3) Orthophosphate 0.01-0.18 00.01-0.03 (mg/L) 0.1([+ or -] 0.06) 0.02([+ or -] 0.008) N[O.sub.2] (mg/L) 0.01-0.07 0.01-0.07 0.03([+ or -] 0.02) 0.03([+ or -] 0.03) N[O.sub.3] (mg/L) 1.3-4.1 0.9-3.9 2.8([+ or -] 1.16) 2.89([+ or -] 1.4) Parameters B3 B4 Depth (m) 4-15 0.25-7 9.4([+ or -] 3.1) 2.7([+ or -] 1.6) Flow (m/sec) 0.11-1.8 0.1-3.5 0.57([+ or -] 0.6) 1.4([+ or -] 0.9) Water 17.8-26.6 16.5-26.3 temp.([degrees]C) 22.2 ([+ or -] 1.2) 23.2.6([+ or -] 3.9) Turbidity (FNU) 3.2-19.5 23.4-39 10.4([+ or -] 4.4) 31.6([+ or -] 5.0) TDS (mg/L) 164-225 270-564 183([+ or -] 17.1) 401.1([+ or -] 115.5) pH 7.4-8.3 7.4-8.56 7.9([+ or -] 0.26) 8.0([+ or -] 0.3) Conductivity 220-526 182-265 ([micro]S/cm) 357.7([+ or -] 76.9) 219.1([+ or -] 34.5) D.O (ppm) 3.1-6.9 3.5-6.8 5.4([+ or -] 1.5) 4.51([+ or -] 1.15) Alkalinity (mg/L) 145-231 179-256 178.6([+ or -] 25.5) 209.3([+ or -] 26.30) Total hardness 154-186 182-249 (mg/L) 172.9([+ or -] 10.2) 196.24(24.2) Ammonia (mg/L) 0.3-0.86 0.47-0.99 0.42([+ or -] 0.2) 0.72([+ or -] 0.15) Orthophosphate 0.01-0.12 0.02-0.17 (mg/L) 0.02([+ or -] 0.03) 0.079([+ or -] 0.1) N[O.sub.2] (mg/L) 0.01-0.04 0.01-0.1 0.02([+ or -] 0.002) 0.05([+ or -] 0.04) N[O.sub.3] (mg/L) 0.69-2.6 0.12-4.6 2.05([+ or -] 0.05) 3.46([+ or -] 0.46) Parameters B5 Depth (m) 3.5-15 9.1([+ or -] 1.6) Flow (m/sec) 0.1-0.3 0.2([+ or -] 0.1) Water 22-26.4 temp.([degrees]C) 23.4([+ or -] 4.4) Turbidity (FNU) 22.4-98.9 46.5([+ or -] 26.8) TDS (mg/L) 335-489 389.1([+ or -] 60.90) pH 7.89-8.6 8.3([+ or -] 0.3) Conductivity 364-685 ([micro]S/cm) 534.5([+ or -] 156.2) D.O (ppm) 5.2-6.8 5.3([+ or -] 0.2) Alkalinity (mg/L) 210-268 224.62([+ or -] 18.1) Total hardness 135-186 (mg/L) 174.9([+ or -] 20.6) Ammonia (mg/L) 0.35-0.98 0.6([+ or -] 0.3) Orthophosphate 0.2-0.3 (mg/L) 0.22([+ or -] 0.04) N[O.sub.2] (mg/L) 0.01-0.02 0.011([+ or -] 0.004) N[O.sub.3] (mg/L) 3.7-4.4 4.2([+ or -] 0.3) TABLE 2 Mean and range values of hydrobiological characteristics (SD in parentheses) of river Ken (K1-K5) Parameters K1 K2 Depth (m) 0.12-3.2 0.86-5.2 1.5([+ or -] 1.3) 2.80([+ or -] 1.49) Flow (m/sec) 0-1.3 0-0.50 0.17([+ or -] 0.3) 0.2([+ or -] 0.1) Water temp. 16.2-26.8 19-26 ([degrees]C) 22.9([+ or -] 3.7) 23.3([+ or -] 2.60) Turbidity (FNU) 7.4-26.9 10.3-45.3 8.1([+ or -] 0.7) 16.6([+ or -] 5.63) TDS (mg/L) 145-189 110-165 176.2([+ or -] 14.2) 129.5([+ or -] 20.2) pH 7.1-7.9 7.1-8.8 7.5([+ or -] 0.3) 7.9([+ or -] 0.57) Conductivity 524-669 152-195 ([micro]S/cm) 623.4([+ or -] 45.6) 176.9([+ or -] 10.50) D.O (ppm) 6.8-10.5 3.2-6.4 7.4([+ or -] 0.7) 5.8([+ or -] 1.4) Alkalinity (mg/L) 210-280 55-175 70.6([+ or -] 14.4) 110.1([+ or -] 55.9) Total hardness 124-240 167-179 (mg/L) 192.3([+ or -] 39.2) 172.5([+ or -] 4.7) Ammonia (mg/L) 0.01-0.04 0.1-0.46 0.02([+ or -] 3.7) 0.16([+ or -] 0.08) Orthophosphate 0.01-0.07 0.01-0.09 (mg/L) 0.06([+ or -] 0.1) 0.03([+ or -] 0.03) N[O.sub.2] (mg/L) 0.01-0.04 0.015-0.07 0.03([+ or -] 0.01) 0.04 ([+ or -] 0.02) N[O.sub.3] (mg/L) 0.85-1.3 0.04-2.2 1.1([+ or -] 0.2) 0.55([+ or -] 0.64) Parameters K3 K4 Depth (m) 1.5-8 2.3-15 4.3([+ or -] 1.49) 6.7([+ or -] 3.2) Flow (m/sec) 0-0.50 0.01-0.8 0.19([+ or -] 0.1) 0.38([+ or -] 0.2) Water temp. 17-26.3 19-26 ([degrees]C) 21.6([+ or -] 1.49) 26.3([+ or -] 0.1) Turbidity (FNU) 7.5-38.4 7.5-38.6 19.1([+ or -] 12.2) 24.2([+ or -] 12.3) TDS (mg/L) 120-200 149-260 147.8([+ or -] 30.7) 206.7([+ or -] 30.2) pH 7.1-9.09 7.4-8.8 8.0([+ or -] 0.8) 7.8([+ or -] 0.4) Conductivity 165-220 172-362 ([micro]S/cm) 193.4([+ or -] 19.7) 270.7([+ or -] 69.6) D.O (ppm) 4.1-8.2 4.1-6.2 6.5([+ or -] 2.2) 4.6([+ or -] 0.6) Alkalinity (mg/L) 65-240 65-265 121.5([+ or -] 61.4) 147([+ or -] 69.8) Total hardness 167-240 50-110 (mg/L) 186.7([+ or -] 21.1) 222.5([+ or -] 23) Ammonia (mg/L) 0.23-0.35 0.01-0.7 0.27([+ or -] 0.05) 0.5([+ or -] .049) Orthophosphate 0.01-0.05 0.04-0.24 (mg/L) 0.03([+ or -] 0.01) 0.14([+ or -] 0.09) N[O.sub.2] (mg/L) 0.01-0.1 0.01-0.31 0.05([+ or -] 0.05) 0.06([+ or -] 0.07) N[O.sub.3] (mg/L) 1.2-2.2 1.1-2.8 1.4([+ or -] 0.5) 1.6([+ or -] 0.6) Parameters K5 Depth (m) 3.6-15 7.6([+ or -] 3.7) Flow (m/sec) 0.1-0.6 0.2([+ or -] 0.17) Water temp. 18-26.8 ([degrees]C) 24.9([+ or -] 1.7) Turbidity (FNU) 5.2-28.9 16.5([+ or -] 6.4) TDS (mg/L) 314-589 419.9([+ or -] 93.7) pH 7.2-8.2 7.9([+ or -] 0.3) Conductivity 332-666 ([micro]S/cm) 487([+ or -] 150.7) D.O (ppm) 4.2-6.8 5.1([+ or -] 0.8) Alkalinity (mg/L) 145-210 178([+ or -] 23) Total hardness 152-232 (mg/L) 195.1([+ or -] 28.2) Ammonia (mg/L) 0.05-0.8 0.4([+ or -] 0.3) Orthophosphate 0.01-0.08 (mg/L) 0.07([+ or -] 0.01) N[O.sub.2] (mg/L) 0.01-0.13 0.05([+ or -] 0.05) N[O.sub.3] (mg/L) 0.7-2.6 2.0([+ or -] 0.7) TABLE 3 Diversity, community indices, relative abundance (RA %) and threat status of the fishes in river Betwa and Ken Family/Species Trophic Trophic level level score Betwa Ken Notopteridae Chitala chitala CA 33.33 33.33 Notopterus notopterus CA 33.33 33.33 Clupeidae Gudusia chapra PL 20.63 22.81 Cyprinidae Aspidoparia morar OM 36.51 NR Barilius bendelisis OM 36.51 28.07 Catla catla PL 20.63 22.81 Chagunius chagunio OM 36.51 28.07 Cirrhinus mrigala BE 9.52 15.79 Cirrhinus reba PL 20.63 22.81 Cyprinus carpio OM 36.51 28.07 Crossocheilus latius latius BE NR 28.07 Amblypharyngodon mola PL NR 22.81 Garra gotyla gotyla OM 36.51 28.07 Labeo bata PL 20.63 22.81 Labeo boggut BE 9.52 15.79 Labeo calbasu BE 9.52 15.79 Labeo dyochilus BE 9.52 15.79 Labeo gonius PL 20.63 22.81 Labeo pangusia BE 9.52 NR Labeo rohita BE 9.52 15.79 Labeo fimbriatus BE NR 15.79 Osteobrama cotio cotio PL 20.63 22.81 Puntius amphibious OM 36.51 NR Puntius chola OM 36.51 28.07 Puntius sarana sarana PL 20.63 22.81 Puntius sophore PL 20.63 22.81 Puntius ticto PL 20.63 22.81 Raiamas bola OM 36.51 28.07 Rasbora daniconius OM 36.51 28.07 Danio davario PL NR 22.81 Salmostoma bacaila OM 36.51 28.07 Securicula gora OM 36.51 NR Tor tor OM 36.51 28.07 Balitoridae Acanthocobitis botia OM 36.51 28.07 Cobitidae Lepidocephalus guntea PL 20.63 22.81 Bagridae Sperata aor CA 33.33 33.33 Sperata seenghala CA 33.33 33.33 Mystus cavacius CA 33.33 33.33 Mystus tengara CA 33.33 33.33 Mystus vittatus CA 33.33 33.33 Rita rita CA 33.33 33.33 Siluridae Ompok bimaculatus CA 33.33 33.33 Ompok pabda CA 33.33 33.33 Walago attu CA 33.33 33.33 Schilbeidae Ailia coila OM 36.51 NR Eutropiichthys vacha OM 36.51 28.07 Clupisoma garua CA 33.33 33.33 Silonia silondia CA 33.33 NR Pangasidae Pangasius pangasius CA 33.33 33.33 Sisoridae Bagarius bagarius CA 33.33 33.33 Gagata cenia OM 36.51 NR Glyptothorax brevipinnis OM 36.51 28.07 Heteropnustidae Heteropneustes fossilis OM 36.51 28.07 Belonidae Xenentodon cancila CA 33.33 33.33 Ambissidae Chanda nama CA 33.33 33.33 Parambassis ranga OM 36.51 NR Sciaenidae Johinus coitor CA 33.33 33.33 Nandidae Nandus nandus OM 36.51 28.07 Cichlidae Oreochromis mossambicus OM 36.51 28.07 Mugilidae Rhinomugil corsula OM 36.51 28.07 Gobiidae Glossogobius giuris PL 20.63 22.81 Chandadae Channa marulius CA 33.33 33.33 Channa puntatus CA 33.33 NR Channa striatus CA 33.33 33.33 Mastacembelidae Macrognathus pancalus BE 9.52 15.79 Mastacembalus armatus BE 9.52 15.79 Tetraodontidae Tetraodon cutcutia OM 36.51 NR Mean score 29.25 26.9 Standard deviation ([+ or -]) 9.34 6 Coefficient of variation 88.60 35.96 Family/Species Habitat Habitat orientation orientation nature score Betwa Ken Notopteridae Chitala chitala P 44.44 42.11 Notopterus notopterus P 44.44 42.11 Clupeidae Gudusia chapra P 44.44 42.11 Cyprinidae Aspidoparia morar B 22.22 NR Barilius bendelisis P 44.44 42.11 Catla catla P 44.44 42.11 Chagunius chagunio P 44.44 42.11 Cirrhinus mrigala B 22.22 24.56 Cirrhinus reba G 33.33 33.33 Cyprinus carpio B 22.22 24.56 Crossocheilus latius latius B NR 24.56 Amblypharyngodon mola P NR 42.11 Garra gotyla gotyla B 22.22 24.56 Labeo bata G 33.33 33.33 Labeo boggut G 33.33 33.33 Labeo calbasu B 22.22 24.56 Labeo dyochilus B 22.22 24.56 Labeo gonius G 33.33 33.33 Labeo pangusia G 33.33 NR Labeo rohita G 33.33 33.33 Labeo fimbriatus G NR 33.33 Osteobrama cotio cotio P 44.44 42.11 Puntius amphibious P 44.44 NR Puntius chola P 44.44 42.11 Puntius sarana sarana P 44.44 42.11 Puntius sophore P 44.44 42.11 Puntius ticto P 44.44 42.11 Raiamas bola P 44.44 42.11 Rasbora daniconius P 44.44 42.11 Danio davario P NR 42.11 Salmostoma bacaila P 44.44 42.11 Securicula gora P 44.44 NR Tor tor G 33.33 33.33 Balitoridae Acanthocobitis botia B 22.22 24.56 Cobitidae Lepidocephalus guntea B 22.22 24.56 Bagridae Sperata aor G 33.33 33.33 Sperata seenghala G 33.33 33.33 Mystus cavacius G 33.33 33.33 Mystus tengara G 33.33 33.33 Mystus vittatus G 33.33 33.33 Rita rita B 22.22 24.56 Siluridae Ompok bimaculatus G 33.33 33.33 Ompok pabda G 33.33 33.33 Walago attu G 33.33 33.33 Schilbeidae Ailia coila P 44.44 NR Eutropiichthys vacha P 44.44 42.11 Clupisoma garua P 44.44 42.11 Silonia silondia G 33.33 NR Pangasidae Pangasius pangasius G 33.33 33.33 Sisoridae Bagarius bagarius B 22.22 24.56 Gagata cenia P 44.44 NR Glyptothorax brevipinnis B 22.22 24.56 Heteropnustidae Heteropneustes fossilis P 44.44 42.11 Belonidae Xenentodon cancila P 44.44 42.11 Ambissidae Chanda nama P 44.44 42.11 Parambassis ranga P 44.44 NR Sciaenidae Johinus coitor P 44.44 42.11 Nandidae Nandus nandus G 33.33 33.33 Cichlidae Oreochromis mossambicus B 22.22 24.56 Mugilidae Rhinomugil corsula P 44.44 42.11 Gobiidae Glossogobius giuris P 44.44 42.11 Chandadae Channa marulius G 33.33 33.33 Channa puntatus G 33.33 NR Channa striatus G 33.33 33.33 Mastacembelidae Macrognathus pancalus B 22.22 24.56 Mastacembalus armatus B 22.22 24.56 Tetraodontidae Tetraodon cutcutia P 44.44 NR Mean score 35.8 34.87 Standard deviation ([+ or -]) 8.8 7.06 Coefficient of variation 77.42 49.84 Family/Species Total relative Threat abundance RA(%) status Betwa Ken Notopteridae Chitala chitala 0.3 0.13 EN Notopterus notopterus 0.2 1.21 EN Clupeidae Gudusia chapra 9.9 0.91 VU Cyprinidae Aspidoparia morar 0 0 LRnt Barilius bendelisis 0.08 0.02 LRnt Catla catla 1.33 0.22 VU Chagunius chagunio 0.07 0.55 DD Cirrhinus mrigala 1.21 1.07 LRnt Cirrhinus reba 0.23 1 LRnt Cyprinus carpio 0.34 0.09 Crossocheilus latius latius NR 0.04 DD Amblypharyngodon mola NR 0.56 DD Garra gotyla gotyla 1.82 0.38 VU Labeo bata 2.05 0.6 LRnt Labeo boggut 1.66 1.02 LRnt Labeo calbasu 1 1.51 LRnt Labeo dyochilus 0.17 0.43 VU Labeo gonius 1.33 1.25 LRnt Labeo pangusia 0.1 0 DD Labeo rohita 2.75 1.54 LRlc Labeo fimbriatus NR 0.24 Osteobrama cotio cotio 6 2.45 LRnt Puntius amphibious 2.85 0 DD Puntius chola 2.45 0.06 VU Puntius sarana sarana 2.45 2.4 VU Puntius sophore 1.13 2.45 LRnt Puntius ticto 7.68 9.44 LRnt Raiamas bola 0.08 0.05 DD Rasbora daniconius 3.05 2.56 LRlc Danio davario NR 0.22 LRnt Salmostoma bacaila 3.72 3.82 DD Securicula gora 0.48 0 DD Tor tor 0.05 0.67 EN Balitoridae Acanthocobitis botia 0.23 0.22 EN Cobitidae Lepidocephalus guntea 0.73 0.63 LRlc Bagridae Sperata aor 0.66 2.41 LRnt Sperata seenghala 0.54 2.91 LRnt Mystus cavacius 0.76 2.75 LRnt Mystus tengara 3.2 2.16 DD Mystus vittatus 0.73 2.77 VU Rita rita 3.71 5.23 EN Siluridae Ompok bimaculatus 1.66 1.78 EN Ompok pabda 0.8 0.65 EN Walago attu 0.7 2.38 LRnt Schilbeidae Ailia coila 0.2 0 VU Eutropiichthys vacha 3.91 2.58 EN Clupisoma garua 1.02 1.45 VU Silonia silondia 0.52 0 LRnt Pangasidae Pangasius pangasius 0.07 0.02 LRnt Sisoridae Bagarius bagarius 0.36 1.03 VU Gagata cenia 0.75 0 DD Glyptothorax brevipinnis 0.17 0.01 DD Heteropnustidae Heteropneustes fossilis 0.43 0.13 VU Belonidae Xenentodon cancila 0.59 5.98 LRnt Ambissidae Chanda nama 5.21 7.42 LRlc Parambassis ranga 5.31 0 LRlc Sciaenidae Johinus coitor 0.23 2.24 DD Nandidae Nandus nandus 0.77 0.77 LRnt Cichlidae Oreochromis mossambicus 0.66 0.02 Mugilidae Rhinomugil corsula 1.66 0.33 VU Gobiidae Glossogobius giuris 3.98 0.74 LRnt Chandadae Channa marulius 1.49 1.64 VU Channa puntatus 0.69 0 LRnt Channa striatus 1.76 0.88 LRnt Mastacembelidae Macrognathus pancalus 0.8 0.38 LRnt Mastacembalus armatus 1 1.68 VU Tetraodontidae Tetraodon cutcutia 0.78 0 LR-nt Mean score Standard deviation ([+ or -]) Coefficient of variation EN, endangered; VU, vulnerable; DD, data deficient; LRnt, lower risk near threatened; Lr lc, low risk least concern; NR, Not Recorded. PL, planktivores; BE, benthic feeder; OM, omnivore; CA, carnivore; P, pelagic; G, general; B, benthic. TABLE 4 Number of species at different trophic level and habitat orientation and their similarity (Sorensen's coefficient) and dissimilarity (Bray-Curtis) indices between Betwa and Ken rivers Ecological Trophic Habitat characteristics level orientation Betwa Ken Betwa Ken Occurrence of PL=13 PL=13 P=28 P=24 fish species BE=6 BE=9 G=21 G=14 OM=23 OM=16 B=14 B=19 CA=21 CA=19 Total No. 57 63 57 63 of species Similarity PL=0.08 P=0.99 index BE=0.99 G=0.85 OM=0.94 B=0.93 CA=0.68 Dissimilarity PL=0.19 P=0.005 index BE=0 G=0.14 OM=0.06 B=0.06 CA=0.32 PL, planktivores; BE, benthic feeder; OM, omnivore; CA, carnivore; P, pelagic; G, general; B, benthic.