Benthic macroinvertebrate community structure and distribution in the Ayeyarwady continental shelf, Andaman Sea
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Quantitative assessment of macrofaunal community of Ayeyarwady continental shelf, Andaman Sea was studied during April-May 2002. About 27 major taxa were identified. Abundance of fauna was in the order of polychaetes (34.2%), crustaceans (25.7%), molluscs (4.2%) and echinoderms (4.5%). Foraminifera (30.3%) and other groups (1.1%) were also present. Faunal density ranged from 59 to 6027/m sup(2) and the wet weight biomass from 0.01 to 43.47 g/m sup(2). Fauna was dominated by polychaeta with 100% prevalence. Faunal composition differed along the depth gradient of habitat heterogeneity. Macrofaunal abundance was within the range reported for shelf water of Myanmar and Andaman Sea but were higher than those from the South China Sea. Major shift in the quantitative distribution and spatial heterogeneity was due to several environmental factors.
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