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Fish diversity in relation to landscape and vegetation in central Western Ghats, India
Sreekantha, -; Subash Chandran, M.D.; Mesta, D.K.; Rao, G.R.; Gururaja, K.V.; Ramachandra, T.V. (2007). Fish diversity in relation to landscape and vegetation in central Western Ghats, India. Curr. Sci. 92(11): 1592-1603
In: Current Science. Current Science Association: Bangalore. ISSN 0011-3891, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Author keywords
    Endemism, fish fauna, land-use, landscape elements, Sharavathi River basin, vegetation, Western Ghats

Authors  Top 
  • Sreekantha, -
  • Subash Chandran, M.D.
  • Mesta, D.K.
  • Rao, G.R.
  • Gururaja, K.V.
  • Ramachandra, T.V.

Abstract
    The Western Ghats, one of the well-known biodiversity hotspots of the world, harbours 289 species of freshwater fish of which 119 are endemic. The ecosystems in this region have been, over the past 150 years or so, experiencing tumultuous changes due to the ever increasing human impacts. In this regard, a study was conducted in Sharavathi River, central Western Ghats to understand fish species composition with respect to landscape dynamics. The study, using a combination of remote-sensing data as well as field investigations shows that the streams having their catchments with high levels of ever greenness and endemic tree species of the Western Ghats were also richer in fish diversity and endemism, compared to those catchments with other kinds of vegetation. This illustrates that the composition and distribution of fish species have a strong association with the kind of terrestrial landscape elements and the importance of landscape approach to conservation and management of aquatic ecosystems. Occurrence of endangered, endemic species and the discovery of two new species of genus Schistura reaffirm the ‘hottest hotspot’ status of the Western Ghats, a repository of biological wealth of a rare kind, both in its aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

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