Tree Hole Aquatic Habitat a Bonsai Ecosystem
Tree hole aquatic habitats are considered as efficient natural microcosm largely because of ‘small scale-bonsai ecosystem’ functionalizing in it. The present study enquires the basics of this ecosystem such as community composition in it and influence of varies environmental factors on it. The study is carried out in Silent Valley National Park and New Amarambalam Reserve Forest of Kerala. The sampling effort comprised of searching for water filled tree holes in the study area. It is followed by collection of environmental variables such as GBH, Height of the tree hole from ground, opening area of tree hole and water holding capacity. Water in the container habitat was collected through siphoning and filtered through mesh after determining the volume of water. The aquatic organism retained in the mesh was sorted, counted and preserved. The sampled tree hole aquatic habitat in the study area comprised of self sustaining macro invertebrate communities containing from filter feeding Culicidae larvae of Diptera to microsaprophages (Hydrophilidae adult of Coleoptera, Ceratopogonidae and Chironomidae larvae of Diptera, Limnephilidae larvae of Trichoptera) macrosaprophage (Scritidae larvae of Coleoptera, Tipulidae, Syrphidae larvae of Diptera) and predaceous (Zygoptera nymph of Odonata, Toxoyrinchites larvae of Diptera, and Dytiscidae adult of Coleoptera). The environmental factors such as habitat structural characteristics, water chemistry and litter quantity in each tree holes were variable among them. From the results it is observed that tree hole aquatic habitat in the study area were a perfect analogy to much more complex and larger ecosystems.