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Epifaunal assemblage on morphologically distinct intertidal seaweeds of Kodiyaghat (South Andaman), India

Author(s): I. Anandavelu | R. Jayabarathi | G. Padmavati, et al.

Journal: Proceedings of the International Academy of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
ISSN 2220-8860

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 229;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Andaman Islands | epifauna | seaweed | Galaxura sp. | Halimeda tuna | sedimentation | India

Benthic macroalgae termed seaweed occupy coastal environments primarily on rocky intertidal areas. However, it has significant role by adding spatial complexity to the substratum and alter accessibility to other faunal and floral community. The studies of potential benefits of seaweeds have encouraged extensively yielding industrial, medicinal, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. The present study deals with the quantitative distribution of epifaunal community associated with seaweeds of South Andaman and the influence of conspicuous morphology of seaweed on the assemblage of epifauna were compared. Galaxura sp. and Halimeda tuna supported higher faunal density than other seaweeds, with the respective mean density of 139.2 and 104.5 nos. per 100g of algal wet weight. Sargassum duplicatum held the lowest epifaunal density. Arthropoda was the major group found in this study, dominated by the Amphipoda (35.1%), Mysida (19.4%) and Isopoda (2.8%) followed by Annelida (20.1%) and Mollusca (12%). The result indicated that the distribution and abundance of epifauna differ based on the structural morphology among macroalgal species which forms suitable habitat for these organisms. The present study suggests that the sediment retention capacity of weeds might play an important role on the assemblage of epifaunal community.
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