A comparative study of macrobenthic community from harbours along the central west coast of India
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Harbours are heavily stressed coastal habitats characterised by high concentration of contaminant and low diversity of benthic community. The west coast of India harbours most of the major harbours compared to the east coast. Very few studies have compared the macrobenthic community between different Indian harbours. The present study was therefore conducted in three important harbour (Ratnagiri, Goa, Karwar) along the central west coast of India. The paper discusses the health status of the three harbours diagnosed using various biotic indices. Sediment samples were collected using van Veen grab (0.11 m sup(2)) on board CRV Sagar Sukti. A total of 55 macrobenthic taxa were identified and were numerically dominated by polychaete. Biomass was high (0.14 -145.7 g m sup(?2) and was made largely by echiurans (more than 80 %). Overall, polychaete dominated the macrobenthic diversity. Opportunistic P.pinnata, Notomastus sp. and Mediomastus sp., dominated the macrobenthic community responding to the increased in the harbour. Biotic indices (Polychaete:Amphipod ratio, ABC curve and geometric class abundance) and the dominance of opportunistic species indicate that, the three harbours are under stress from anthropogenic activities.
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