The rotifers (Rotifera: Eurotatoria) from the Kashmir Himalayan floodplains and Rotifera biodiversity of Jammu and Kashmir, north India

Bhushan Kumar Sharma, Sumita Sharma

Abstract

Our plankton and semi-plankton collections from the floodplain wetlands of the Kashmir valley reveal 140 rotifer species belonging to 43 genera and 22 families. The richness forms ~81% of 173 species, belonging to 51 genera and 23 families, recognized as validly known from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) vide the present biodiversity evaluation. The rotifer assemblages of the Kashmir Himalayan wetlands and J&K comprise ~33% and ~41%, respectively of the Indian Rotifera; their biodiverse nature is hypothesized to habitat diversity and ecological heterogeneity of aquatic environs of this state of north India. One species is new to India and 25 species are new to northwest India. Lecanidae > Brachionidae form ~33% and Trichocercidae = Lepadellidae > Notommatidae > Euchlanidae comprise ~31% of the rotifer fauna of J&K which includes species of global and regional biogeographic interest and, a large component of cosmopolitan species (~81%). Lecane > Trichocerca > Brachionus = Lepadella collectively comprise ~39%; Keratella > Euchlanis > Synchaeta are notable (~12%); and Notholca and Cephalodella species deserve attention from J&K. Rotifera of the Kashmir Himalayan floodplains and J&K indicate the littoral-periphytic character, cold-water elements, small-sized species, and the relative paucity of Brachionus, Lepadella and Lecane richness. We estimate 260+ rotifer species from J&K pending analysis of intensive latitudinal and longitudinal collections including samples from Ramsar sites, high altitude lakes and other water bodies with emphasis on colonial, sessile and benthic taxa, and analysis of likely cryptic diversity of certain species.

Keywords

Composition, Distribution, Evaluation, Important taxa, Interesting species, Richness, Wetlands.

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References

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