Study of the Macro Faunal Associates of the Littoral Zoanthid Palythoa mutuki (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) from Saurashtra Coast, Gujarat, India  

Jignesh Narmadashankar Trivedi , Kauresh Dhanwantrai Vachhrajani
Marine Biodiversity and Ecology Lab, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, M. S. University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2014, Vol. 4, No. 34   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2014.04.0034
Received: 21 Mar., 2014    Accepted: 26 Apr., 2014    Published: 15 Jun., 2014
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Trivedi et al., 2014, Study of the Macro Faunal Associates of the Littoral Zoanthid Palythoa mutuki (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) from Saurashtra Coast, Gujarat, India, International Journal of Marine Science, Vol.4, No.34 1-9 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2014.04.0034)

Abstract

The macrobenthic community associated with the encrusting zoanthid Palythoa mutuki was studied in the littoral zone of four different sites situated along the coasts of Saurashtra (Gujarat, India). A total of 20 random quadrates (0.25 m2) were laid in the lower littoral zone where Palythoa mutuki was abundant. All the animals present in the quadrate area were collected or photographed and brought to the lab for species identification. A total of 67 different species belonging to 6 phyla were identified. The most abundant taxa were Arthropoda (44.8%), Mollusca (38.7%), Cnidaria (4.5%), Annelida (4.5%), Porifera (4.5%) and Echinodermata (3%). The maximum diversity of associates amongst the studied sites varied between 31 and 53 species, with the highest value recorded at Sutrapada followed by Dhamlej, Kodinar and Veraval. The diversity and species composition of associated community with P. mutuki, tested with MDS, PCA and Bray Curtis Similarity, is significantly homogeneous in all sites, with the exception of Veraval probably as a consequence of the habitat heterogeneity.

Keywords
Palythoa mutuki; Benthic community, Brachyuran crabs, Gastropods, Saurashtra coast, India
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