The species composition of benthic macrophytes and macrofauna was studied in three localities (Sheva creek, Peerwadi coast and Dharamtar creek) along Uran coastline, off Arabian Sea. Uran is located along the eastern shore of Mumbai harbor opposite to Coloba and is included in the planned metropolis of Navi Mumbai and its port, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNP). The intertidal and shallow subtidal region of the study sites were surveyed during spring low tides for diversity of macrobenthos monthly from June 2013 to May 2015. The study recorded a total of 170 species of macrobenthos belonging to 119 genera, 83 families, 44 orders and 17 classes. Of the 10 macrobenthic taxa recorded, phylum mollusca exhibited highest contribution with 90 species (60 gastropods, 26 bivalves and 4 cephalopods). Phylum arthropoda appeared as the second most dominant group contributed with 33 species of brachyuran and anomuran crabs. 16 species of sponges, 5 species of polychaetes, 19 species of seaweeds were also reported. Other reported taxa include flat worms (4 species), soft corals (2 species) and tunicates (1 species). Results of the study showed that intertidal region of Uran coast is fertile and provides a suitable habitat for diverse and wide range of organisms. The comprehensive checklist of macrobenthos provided can be used as the baseline for future research and to develop the management strategy for the conservation of coastal marine ecosystem.
KEYWORDS: Checklist, Macrobenthos, Intertidal region, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Uran, Species composition
Checklists are comprehensive lists covering all species of a certain group known to occur in a specific area. They provide an overall view of an area's diversity, its species composition and biological history, and functions as a living document. The list is the foundation document of a particular region and includes all background information . The comprehensive evaluations and inventories serve as the basis for local practices of conservation. A checklist of regional marine species provides base line information and important data for comparative studies on biodiversity, and plays an important role in the estimation of resource availability .
Coastal marine systems are among the most ecologically and socio-economically vital on the planet. Marine habitats from the intertidal zone out to the continental shelf break provides ecosystem goods (e.g. food and raw materials) and services (e.g. disturbance regulation and nutrient cycling) . The provision of protein for human consumption and the ecosystems that sustain fisheries are the products and functions of marine ecosystems that benefit humankind . Coastal-zone habitat includes highly productive estuaries and bays, which are essential nursery grounds for a number of commercial and recreational fish species and home to a number of invertebrates .
Benthos refers to the community of organisms that live on, or in, the bottom of a water body and are generally classified according to size. Macrobenthos are the benthic communities with greater than 0.5 mm in size and play an important role in transitional ecosystems . Macrobenthos acts as an ecosystem engineers which substantially modify the physical structure of the abiotic or...
This is a preview. Get the full text through your school or public library.