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Comparative Study of Present and Past Cladoceran Diversity in Manasbal Lake of Kashmir (India)

Gulzar Naik*,  Balkhi MH, Bhat FA and Mudasir Rashid

Present research was carried out to study the diversity of Cladocera in Manasbal Lake and compare it with previous studies. In present study, 21 species of cladocerans were recorded belonging to 5 families: Chydoridae, Daphnidae, Bosminidae, Macrothricidae and Sididae. Chydorids were responsible for major cladoceran diversity followed by daphnids. The frequently species found were Chydorus sphaericus, Graptoleberis testudinaria, Daphnia pulex, Ceriodaphnia reticulata and Bosmina longirostris. While comparing the cladoceran diversity of present study with earlier studies, many species present earlier were not found in present study due to increasing pollution of the lake. However, five species (Chydorus sphaericus, Graptoleberis testudinaria, Bosmina longirostris, Sida crystallina and Diaphanosoma brachyurum) recorded earlier were still present and were reported by all authors. This depicted that these species can tolerate wide range of fluctuations in environmental changes. Further, Daphnia pulex was not recorded in earlier studies but was recorded latter which also showed increased pollution in the lake as this species prefers polluted water. Environmental changes have great influence on distribution of cladocerans and therefore, they act as excellent indicators of pollution.