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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2015, Vol 15, Num, 3     (Pages: 661-675)

Does Intra-Site Connectivity Influence the Dynamics of Zooplankton Metacommunity in Freshwater Habitats?

Priyanka Halder Mallick 1 ,Susanta Kumar Chakraborty 1

1 Vidyasagar University, Department of Zoology, Midnapore, West Bengal, India DOI : 10.4194/1303-2712-v15_3_11 Viewed : 4062 - Downloaded : 2931 The paper reported on a metacommunity analysis of zooplankton in two freshwater wetlands having contrasting ecological features for three seasons over a year. The effects of spatial connectedness, habitat fragmentation, environmental changes mediated by seasonal fluctuations and variability in assemblages of aquatic vegetation on the zooplankton community were compared. A total of 116 zooplankton species were recorded from both the study sites. Few zooplankton showed affinity for Site 1, whereas others were unique to Site 2. Sorensen’s similarity index revealed that the two sites were moderately similar with respect to zooplankton composition, but were moderately dissimilar with regard to floral composition. The present study has tested Community Wide Character Displacement (CWCD) hypothesis based on the results which exhibited less similarities in the fragmented local habitats within the same wetland than two major distantly located wetlands in respect of zooplankton species composition. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and Cluster analysis have revealed that direct connectivity might have played most vital role in shaping community structure especially in case of planktonic organisms, followed by the influence of seasons and macrophytes. Keywords : Zooplankton diversity, macrophytes, community structure, fragmentation, wetlands, Midnapore