Distribution and abundance of macrozoobenthic species were investigated in open and shaded sites of tropical freshwater pond ecosystems in Kolkata. Water temperature of open sites was higher than the shaded sites but transparency value was lower at the lighted sites presumably related with the production of phytoplankton in the presence of sunlight. Diversity of species was recorded highest (26 species) along with total benthos density (5999 no/m2) at slightly illuminated open site. Mean biomass was also highest at the slightly illuminated open site. Total benthos density of macrozoobenthos was lower at the fully shaded and fully lighted sites. The greater occurrence and abundance of most macrozoobenthic species-including total benthos density and biomass at the slightly illuminated open site was probably associated with microhabitat suitability supported by moderate presence of macrophytes. Higher quality food (algae and algal detritus) and thermal suitability as well as phototactic attraction of motile epibenthic gastropods and other organisms contribute to the greater abundance and production of biomass at this site.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 25, 2010
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