Abstract

The understanding of patterns in fish assemblages is imperative for management and conservation plans. There is a dearth of information on the environmental factors affecting the fish community structure in the reservoirs built on the intermittent rivers of India. We hypothesized that the environmental factors most likely influenced the patterns in the structure of fish diversity at temporal and spatial scales in a sub-tropical reservoir of the Ganga River basin. The data was gathered seasonally from April 2017 to March 2018 from three sites each in the riverine, transitional, and lacustrine zones of the reservoir. About 16,220 fish specimens were captured that belonged to 7 orders, 14 families, 31 genera, and 40 species. The diversity indices showed the highest diversity in the riverine and the lowest in the lacustrine zones of the reservoir. At a temporal scale, the highest diversity was observed in the monsoon season and lowest during the summer season. The cluster analysis spatially separated the fish fauna into three groups, each group formed by sampling sites in the riverine, transitional and lacustrine regions of the reservoir and may have resulted from physico-chemical and anthropogenic influences. Our study suggests the need to consider the possible influence of altered environmental conditions on fish assemblage, and some recommendations were suggested for the improvement of the fisheries impacted by the construction of dams.

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