Biodiversity in Qanats (The Case study of Kerman County, Iran)

Authors

1 International Desert Research Center (IDRC), University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

Abstract

Qanat is one of the important inland aquatic ecosystems commonly containing freshwater in arid and semi-arid
regions. There are 37 qanat chains in Kerman County in the Kerman province of Iran. During past years, some of
them have been dried as a result of deep wells digging in their vicinities. The present study used morphomeristic
analysis to characterize fishes and invertebrate fauna in the qanats of Kerman County. Seven fish species and seven
invertebrate genuses were identified. All fishes were from the Cyprinidae family except for the mosquito fish
(Poecilidae family). Capoeta aculata was the most common fish species in the Kerman county qanats. From the
insect identified species, the Hydropsyche genus was found in all qanats and Simolium genus was found in more
qanats. The incidence of insect species Rhitrogena sp., Liponeura sp. and Ecdyonurus sp. was related to the incidence
of organic pollution. They were only found in high discharge water qanats such as Farmintin and Goharriz. This
indicates that the high discharge water is necessary to provide adequate water quality for settlement of these species.
The results showed that more biodiversity is observable in qanats having higher water volumes.

Keywords