Spatio-temporal dynamics of macrophytes in relation to ecolo | 16752
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International Research Journal of Biochemistry and Bioinformatics

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Spatio-temporal dynamics of macrophytes in relation to ecology of a Kashmir Himalayan Wetland.


Sameera Siraj, A.R.Yousuf and M. Parveen

The present study gives an account of spatio-temporal changes in diversity and distribution of the macrophytic community structure in the Shalbug wetland of Kashmir Himalaya, India during about last three decades (1978-2006). Perusal of the data on changing water chemistry revealed not only a shift in the cationic spectrum but also a significant increase in Total as well as Ortho-P, and Nitrate, Nitrite as well as Ammonical forms of Nitrogen during last three decades. The concentration (mgl-1) of Ca, Mg, Na and K has respectively changed from an average of 24.2, 4.4, 1.9 and 0.9 in 1978 to 109, 41, 16 and 5 in 2006. Moreover, while the average Total P has increased from 227?????¼g/l in 1978 to 250 ?????¼g/l in 2006, the Ortho-P during the same period increased from 32.2 ?????¼g/l to 43 ?????¼g/l. The Nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonical forms of Nitrogen have increased respectively from 128, 6.7 and 6.1 ?????¼g/l in 1978 to 374, 16 and 219 ?????¼g/l in 2006. In comparison to 20 macrophytic species reported from the wetland in 1978, 27 species were recorded during the present study. The macrophytic communities, dominated by Typha angustata, Phragmites australis, Sparganium erectum, Trapa natans, and Potamogeton natans, showed a characteristic spatio-temporal distribution pattern from littoral to open waters with maximum number of species in summer than winter. Data on the physico-chemical parameters of water and bottom sediments indicated that the occurrence of macrophytes was greatly influenced by type of bottom substrate, water depth and temperature. Since plant diversity may affect wetland ecosystem processes, the study calls to ensure the conservation and management of the system, which would help maintain both higher diversity and enhance ecosystem functioning.

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