Aquatic Sciences

, 80:18 | Cite as

Beta-diversity partitioning and drivers of variations in tropical fish community structure in central India

  • Rohitashva Shukla
  • Anuradha Bhat
Research Article


Flow regulations, human activities and drying events have been shown to drive diversity patterns of stream fish communities globally. Along with alpha-diversity distributions across space and time, study of beta-diversity patterns provides a deeper understanding of the mechanisms and processes of overall diversity distributions. It has been shown that water flow conditions can determine the beta-diversity patterns in stream fish communities: in general, perennial habitats are more similar, while intermittent and regulated conditions tend to increase dissimilarities among sites. However, it is not clear whether these patterns result from changes in abundance replacement or from differences in species abundance. Here, we investigated beta-diversity patterns in tropical fish communities of central India and their relation to habitat structural properties and water conditions. We performed our analysis for the overall region (18 sites) and also across three distinct flow conditions (6 sites for each flow regime). We used a partitioning framework to uncover the contribution of abundance replacement and abundance difference to beta-diversity patterns for the overall region and for three flow conditions separately. Our results suggest that at a regional scale all the sites show an equal contribution of replacement and abundance difference components, while seasonal samples were homogeneous. Our results confirmed that intermittent and regulated sites are more heterogeneous than perennial sites. The observed changes in beta-diversity in intermittent and regulated sites were related to both abundance difference and replacement components. Dissimilarities between sites were explained by physicochemical (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen) parameters but not by habitat structural (stream width, depth) parameters.


Community structure Spatio-temporal patterns Perennial flow Intermittent streams Fish diversity 



The authors thank Durlabh Shukla for field assistance and local fish collectors for help with collections of fish and data on environmental parameters at the study sites. The authors also wish to thank the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata (IISER-Kolkata, India) for financial support during this study. RS was supported through Institutional Junior and Senior Research Fellowships provided by IISER Kolkata. We thank Dr. Florian Altermatt for very helpful and constructive suggestions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical approval

No animals were harmed during this study and all individuals were returned to their natural habitats in the field. The study protocol carried out were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution (Institutional Animal Ethics Committee’s (IAEC)), IISER Kolkata and adhered to the guidelines of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA), Government of India.

Supplementary material

27_2018_568_MOESM1_ESM.docx (56 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 55 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesIndian Institute of Science Education and Research KolkataMohanpurIndia

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