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Impact of mechanical deweeding on the phytophilous macroinvertebrate community of an eutrophic lake


The aim of the study was to estimate the impact of mechanical deweeding on the community structure of phytophilous macroinvertebrates. The eutrophic lake selected for the study was Dal Lake in the Kashmir Himalayas. The dissolved nutrient concentration was found to be highest in August and September, i.e., nitrates-nitrogen (513 μg l−l) and total phosphorus (685 μg l−l). During the period of investigation, a total of 22 macroinvertebrate taxa were recorded which belonged to phylum Arthropoda, Mollusca, and Annelida. The samples were collected with the help of a composite Gerking frame box and grappler. Mechanical deweeding had a profound impact on the population density of phylum Mollusca and Arthropoda followed by Annelida. However, family Tubificidae was not influenced by deweeding, as the harvester only trimmed the vegetation, and these organisms were recorded in the sediment of the lake. On average, the reference site had higher density of macroinvertebrates as compared to deweeded areas. The abundance of macroinvertebrates decreased from 200 ind. (individuals) m−2 in the reference site to 51 ind. m−2 in the deweeded site as a result of weed removal. Species richness and composition of major macroinvertebrates in harvested and unharvested areas of the lake were also dissimilar as portrayed by biotic indices vis-à-vis Shannon diversity index, evenness index, and Simpson index.

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The authors are highly thankful to Prof. A. R. Yousuf for his thoughtful insight and mentoring during the research work. The authors also wish to thank Prof. Azra N. Kamili for providing the necessary laboratory facilities.

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Correspondence to Shazia Habib.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Habib, S., Yousuf, A.R. Impact of mechanical deweeding on the phytophilous macroinvertebrate community of an eutrophic lake. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 5653–5659 (2014).

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  • Phytophilous macroinvertebrates
  • Deweeding
  • Eutrophic