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ISSN: 2320-964X (Online) 

ISSN: 2320-7817  (Print)



Dr. Santosh Pawar 




Int. Journal of Life Sciences, 2018; 6(2): 507-516      |                 Available online, April 26, 2018

Periphyton assemblages and diversity in a major flash flood exposed Himalayan river Mandakini of Uttarakhand, India 

Goswami Gunjan1 and SinghDeepak2*


1Research Scholar, Department of Zoology and Biotechnology, H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar (Garhwal), 246174, Uttarakhand, India

  2Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology and Biotechnology, H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar (Garhwal), 246174, Uttarakhand, India

*Corresponding Author’s Email:


Received : 31.12.2017  |       Accepted : 03.03.2018 | Published : 26.04.2018

The rivers of Garhwal Himalaya experience frequent flash floods every year. However, the major flood of June 16-17, 2013 in the Mandakini river was devastating resulting into huge loss of flora including periphyton communities and fauna in addition to human and property loss. Periphyton communities contribute as important primary producers in an aquatic ecosystem. The present study is aimed at to know how the river ecosystem recovers itself and reestablishes the communities. Lack of information on periphyton diversity and ecosystem resilience of Mandakini river after experiencing this major ecodisaster of Kedarnath led to the present study. Glacier fed Perennial river Mandakini originates from Chaurabari glacier above the Kedarnath peaks (6940m. a.s.l.). Monthly samples for physico-chemical parameters and periphyton were collected from three sampling sites, Kund, Agustyamuni and Rudraprayag located at different altitudes on the Mandakini river for the present study. Periphyton belonging to 3 classes, 7 orders, 19 families and 47 genera were recorded from the Mandakini river. The most abundant class Bacillariophyceae (diatoms) (70%) was followed by Cyanophyceae (blue green algae) (19%) and Chlorophyceae (green algae) (11%). The periphyton started increasing after flash floods and attained highest species diversity (H’=3.462±0.240) in winter season, moderate in summer and lowest (H’= 2.482±0.296) in monsoon season. The periphyton communities have short life cycles, reestablished soon after the flood event in monsoon, and achieved high density and diversity in winter due to most favourable environmental conditions. Physico-chemical factors like nitrate, phosphate, pH, velocity, total alkalinity, total hardness, and water temperature were found to be most important factors influencing periphyton density and diversity. However, turbidity, transparency, free CO2, and dissolved oxygen were of secondary importance in regulating periphyton diversity.


Keywords: Abundance, density, diversity index, CCA, periphyton 


Editor: Dr.Arvind Chavhan


Cite this article as:

Goswami Gunjanand SinghDeepak(2018) Periphyton assemblages and diversity in a major flash flood exposed Himalayan river Mandakini of Uttarakhand, India, Int. J. of. Life Sciences, Volume 6(2): 507-516. 



The first author (GG) is thankful to University Grants Commission, New Delhi for financial support in the form of BSR fellowship.


Conflicts of interest: The authors stated that no conflicts of interest.



Copyright: © 2018 | Author(s), This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial - No Derives License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.



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