Macrobenthic Invertebrate assemblage along gradients of the river Basantar (Jammu, J&K) in response to industrial wastewater

Abstract A limnological investigation was carried out in River Basantar in the Jammu province of Jammu & Kashmir (India) during the period from December, 2009 to November, 2011 in order to analyse the effect of industrial pollution on the diversity and population density of Macrobenthic invertebrate fauna along the longitudinal profile of the river. A total of 27 macrobenthic invertebrate taxa inhabited the river; among these Arthropoda dominated the macrobenthic community (81.48%, 22 species) followed by Annelida (11.11%, 3 species) and Mollusca (7.41%, 2 species).  The Discharge Zone (St II) had the highest mean standing crop of macrobenthic population while the lowest species number. Oligochaetes (Annelida) and Dipterans (Arthropoda) exhibited their abundance at polluted sites whereas Odonates, Ephemeropterans, Hemipterans, Coleopterans (Arthropoda) and Molluscs were abundant at least polluted sites. Tubifex tubifex, Branchiura sowerbyi, Limnodrillus hoffmeisteri, Chironomus, Tubifera, Psychoda and Physa acuta were identified as pollution indicator taxa while Progomphus, Cloeon, Baetis and Gyraulus as sensitive taxa.

Keywords Pollution, Diversity, Macrobenthic Invertebrate, Indicator taxa.

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