Rekha, P. D., Shashikumar, K. C. and Madhyastha M. N.*
Department of Biosciences,
Mangalore University, Mangalagangotri,
Mangalore – 574 199
* Chemical Engineering Dept., National Institute of Technology,
Karnataka, Surathkal – 574 157
E-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
ecosystems in India are under grave threat. Water being a multipurpose resource,
finds its way into all the spheres of developments. Large and growing human
populations and the rapid pace of development have led to the degradation of
natural water systems. Agricultural
and domestic water requirements were the most demanding arenas of the ancient
India. Later due to industrial growth, increased population, urbanization etc.,
demand for freshwater increased tremendously. In a hurry for industrial
revolution, competition for resources has overlooked the environmental
sustainability of the practice.
wetlands are important ecosystems due to their geomorphic features, landscape
diversity, riparian interactions, hydrological connectivity, and for the species
pool in the river corridor. Riverine biodiversity faces particular challenges
because of poor understanding of biotic and abiotic dynamics of the system. The
diversity of fauna and flora supported by these ecosystems has been escaped wide
attention. Habitat fragmentation due to various aspects such as flow regulation,
landscape alterations, land based activities, clearance of riparian vegetation,
flood control, riverscaping, water pollution, overexploitation of the water
resources, etc., have resulted in the loss of biodiversity.
of the loss requires a change in focus by limnologists, water resource managers,
industrialists and the general public, and the urgent adoption of a conservation
agenda for freshwater conservation in India is demanded.
Further, understanding of broadened concept of biodiversity encompassing
spatio-temporal heterogeneity, functional processes and species diversity could
provide a unifying theme for river ecology. Role of structural and functional
diversity should not be underestimated while preserving species diversity within
the communities. A widened concept
of biodiversity could provide an integrative perspective for holistic studies of
rivers as ecosystems of its own diversity. Biodiversity integrates ecology with
evolution and biogeography. An operational understanding of biodiversity links
basic research with applied research by providing a basis for effective river
conservation and management initiatives.
Various aspects of riverine biodiversity with suitable examples from the studies on rivers of Dakshina Kannada are discussed in the present paper.