Adaptive skill of Schizothorax sp. of river Alaknanda under pressure of urbanization and anthropogenic activities in Garhwal Himalaya

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Original article

Author :

M. Thapliyal,S.N. Bahuguna,A. Thapliyal

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Abstract :

It is universally accepted that humans are having a major impact on every aspect of earth’s ecological habitats because humans are engaged in urbanization and anthropogenic activity. All the major watershed areas of Garhwal Himalayan region (Alaknanda, Bhagarathi/Ganges and Yamuna) have witnessed urbanization and anthropogenic activity. One hydroelectric power project (330 MW) is located on river Alaknanda at Srinagar Garhwal in Garhwal Himalaya. The project started during the mid1990s by GVK group and completed around 2014. A long term study on fecundity of Schizothorax sp. at Srinagar Garhwal was carried out between the years 1996 to 1998. This study was compared to other recent studies on same species at same location between the years 2016-19. This period covers the entire timeline of construction phase to commissioning phase of this hydroelectric power project. Various parameters with reference to breeding biology and fecundity were measured from Schizothorax sp. Mature specimens ranging in average weight from 384g to 1482g and average length from 320mm to 544mm were observed. Weight of ovary in the fish fluctuated from 38g to 219g. Fecundity of samples varied from a minimum to 3009 to a maximum of 13649 to 13840. The mathematical relationship of fecundity with other variables viz: fish length, fish weight, ovary weight and ovary length, and between fish weight and ovary weight and ovary length was calculated. The computed relationships were found to be highly significant especially between fecundity and fish length (r=0.940, p0.01). The values of regression coefficient (b) and correlation coefficient (r) were computed separately. The data when compared to recent data of other authors reveals that Schizothorax sp. have sustained their fecundity due to their unique adaptive skill but have shifted their breeding grounds slightly. This shifting of breeding ground might be due to anthropogenic activity. Further studies would be needed to see if the breeding grounds are also restored.

Keyword :

Fecundity, Gonadosomatic Index, Schizothorax, Sringar Garhwal, Garhwal Himalaya, Hydroelectric Power project
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