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Fish diversity and assemblage patterns in relation to habitat characteristics were investigated in the Petchaburi River, Thailand, during the dry season and early rainy season (January to June 2019). Sampling was carried out in four stations on the river, from the upper portion downstream to the Kaeng Krachan Reservoir. A total of 5,416 individual fish were sampled from 31 species. Mean abundance was 44.6±40.1 fish per 100 m2, mean species richness was 10.8±4.0, mean Shannon diversity H’ index was 1.75±0.44, and mean evenness J’ index was 0.32±0.05. These indices increased from upstream to downstream. They also tended to increase from the onset to middle of the dry season, then decreased at the onset of the rainy season. Co-inertia analysis indicated habitat preference in some species; for example, Tor tambroides was positively correlated with macrophytes, shade, bedrock, and boulders, whereas Aperioptus delphax preferred high velocity flows in dense vegetation, with sand and cobble substrates. The assemblage patterns were analyzed both for Q-mode (station×month) and R-mode (species) clustering, and habitat specificity of some species was clearly observed. Results of this study are timely useful for resource management and conservation, regarding that the Kaeng Krachan National Park has just been announced as UNESCO Natural World Heritage site in July 2021.
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