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J. Env. Bio-Sci., 2015: Vol.

29 (2):305-309
(305) ISSN 0973-6913 (Print), ISSN 0976-3384 (On Line)


J. Canciyal*, H. S. Mogalekar and P. Jawahar
Department of Fisheries Biology and Resource Management, Fisheries College & Research Institute, Thoothukudi-628 008,
Tamil Nadu, India.
[Corresponding author E-mail*: canciyal.johnson@gmail.com]

Received: 14-06-2015 Accepted: 22-06-2015

Seaweed diversity assessment at Hare Island in the Gulf of Mannar revealed presence of 99 seaweed species belonging to 15
order, 24 family and 42 genera during May 2014 to April 2015. Recorded species during present study belonged to 3 phylum.
Rhodophyceae was dominant seaweed phylum with 35 species belonging to 7 order, 12 family and 20 genera followed by
Chlorophyceae (33 species belonging to 4 order, 8 family and 11 genera) and Phaeophyceae (31 species belonging to 4 order, 4
family and 11 genera). Seasonal variability in various diversity indices were calculated by using PRIMER v6 software. The calculated
value of biodiversity indices showed healthy nature of seaweed ecosystem at Hare Island.

Seaweeds are macroscopic marine algae, usually found is situated 4.5 km away from Tuticorin Port Beach with a variety
attached to solid substrates such as rocks, dead corals, of substrata-rocky, silty, muddy and sandy. Seaweed samples
pebbles and shells in relatively shallow coastal water area were collected monthly basis by handpicking and steel
upto 180 meters depth. Seaweeds form ecologically important grappling hook during low-tide. After sorting and counting,
component of marine ecosystems as they make a substantial seaweed samples were identified up to species level and
contribution to marine primary production and provide habitat representative samples were preserved in 5% formalin3-5.
for near shore benthic communities. Rich seaweed beds known Seasonal availability of seaweeds were studied in three seasons
to occur around Visakhapatnam in the northeast coast, namely pre-monsoon (May to August), monsoon (September
Mahabalipuram, Gulf of Mannar, Tiruchendur, Tuticorin and to December) and post-monsoon (January to April) during
Kerala in the southern coast; Veraval and Gulf of Kutch in the 2014 to 2015. Total numbers of seaweed were calculated on
northwest coast; Andaman and Nicobar Islands and monthly basis for seasonal abundance data and used as input
Lakshadweep1. The seaweed flora of India is highly diversified for the calculation of biodiversity indices such as Shannon-
and comprises 271 genera and 1153 species of tropical marine Wiener diversity (H'), Margalef's species richness ('d'), Pielou's
algae2. However, a survey carried out in 2000 revealed less evenness (J') and Bray-Curtis similarity (PRIMER 6v).
number of species (844) with similar genera number of 271 1.
Of the total number of seaweed species recorded from the
Indian coast, the maximum number of species belongs to the The coralline or rocky substratum in the subtidal areas of Hare
Rhodophyta (422), followed by the Chlorophyta (217) and finally Island found to support a good growth of marine algae.
the Phaeophyta (191). Increasing concern on destruction of Significant variations in distribution and abundance of seaweed
seaweed resources due to anthropogenic and climatic diversity were observed during study. As many as 5443 number
disturbances makes it necessary to study their diversity and of seaweed were collected from the study area, comprising
species richness. Therefore, in present study an attempt has 99 seaweed species belonging to 15 order, 24 family and 42
been made to assess distribution and abundance of seaweed genera (Table-1). Abundance of seaweed was high in post-
diversity along Hare Island. monsoon (2792 numbers). Caulerpa, Ulvawere, Gracilaria,
Sargassum and Padina were dominant genera at Hare Island.
Recorded species during present investigation belonged to 3
The study was conducted for 12 months (May 2014 to April phylum. Rhodophyceae represented as dominant seaweed
2015) at Hare Island (Pandiyan Thivu or Light House Island) in phylum with 35 species belonging to 7 order, 12 family and 20
the Gulf of Mannar along southeast coast of India. Hare Island genera, followed by Chlorophyceae (33 species belonging to
NAAS Rating (2016)-4.20

Table-1.Checklist of seaweed diversity at Hare Island.



Table-2.Diversity indices for Seaweed species at Hare Island.

Figure-1 . Dominance plot among different seasons at Hare Island.


4 order, 8 family and 11 genera) and Phaeophyceae (31 species CONCLUSION

belonging to 4 order, 4 family and 11 genera). The dominance
The diversity indices values observed during present study
of red algae over green and brown algae during present study
were favorable for healthy seaweed ecosystems at Hare Island.
indicated presence of rocky and coralline substrate essential
Present research report may possibly expose feasibility of
for the attachment, similar observation were made in 4 districts
commercial seaweed exploitation along Tuticorin coast.
of southern Tamil Nadu6.
The seaweed flora observed in the present study showed higher
species richness compared to previous research reports6-10. We thank the Dean i/c, Fisheries College & Research Institute,
Earlier workers recorded 57 seaweed species from the southern Thoothukudi-628 008, Tamil Nadu for his constant support.
Tamil Nadu6. Some other researchers recorded 32 seaweed
species from the Kudankulam region of Gulf of Mannar7. Some
workers attributed 38 seaweed species from Muttom coastal 1. Oza, R.M. and Zaidi, S.H. (2000). In: A Revised checklist of
waters along Tamil Nadu, however other workers reported Indian marine algae. Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research
presence of 86 seaweed species along Tuticorin coastal Institute, Bhavnagar.
waters8-9. Similarly, some other workers identified 90 seaweed 2. Krishnamurthy, V. (2005). In: Anonymous, Seaweed: Wonder

species from the Hare Island in Gulf of Mannar9. Plants of the Sea Aquaculture Foundation of India, Chennai.
3. Kaliaperumal, N., Kalimuthu, S. and Ramalingam, J.R. (1995). In:
The Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H') varied from 4.524 to Economically important seaweeds. Dr. M. Devaraj (Ed.), Special
4.530. While the minimum value was recorded during Monsoon, publication 62. Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Indian
the maximum value was recorded during Pre-monsoon. The Council of Agricultural Research, Post Box. No. 1603, Cochin -
maximum value (17.04) of Margalef richness index ('d') was 682014, India.

also recorded during the Pre-monsoon. However the minimum 4. Mary, K.M., Geetha, A. and Syda Rao, G. (2012). In: Common
Seaweeds and Seagrasses of India. Herbarium Vol.1, Central
value (15.81) was recorded during the Post-monsoon. The
Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi- 682 018, Kerala.
minimum value of Pielou's evenness index (J') was 0.9852
5. http://www.algaebase.org.
recorded during Post-monsoon and the maximum value of
6. Sahayaraj, K., Rajesh, S., Asha, A., Rathi, J.M. and Patric Rajan.
0.9867 during Monsoon (Table-2). Biodiversity indices values
(2014). Indi. Jour. of Geo-Marine Scie., 43(4): 607.
found higher compared to earlier workers6,9. Higher values for 7. Sathianeson, S. and Samuel, G.W. (2012). Biodiv. Jour., 3 (1),79.
biodiversity indices indicated healthy nature of seaweed 8. Domettila, C., Shynin Brintha, T.S., Sukumaran, S. and Jeeva, S.
ecosystems at Hare Island. Species estimation showed that (2013). Biodiv. Jou., 4 (1), 105.
the sample size of the present study was quit adequate and 9. Canciyal, J., Mogalekar, H.S. and Jawahar, P. (2014). Internat.
the effort taken to the list all the species was also quite sufficient. Jour. of Curr. Res., 6(12), 10874.
10. Mary, J.M., Usha, R. and Maria, V.R.S. (2013). Scie. Res. Report.,
In the species dominance plot, curve for seaweed diversity
3(2), 146.
lies on lower side and rises gradually due to less individual
species dominance. In the dominance plot, Post-monsoon
curve lies on lower side and rises slowly with higher number of
species and less species dominance than the other curves.
As lower diversity was found during the Pre-monsoon, the curve
for this season was found at the top (Fig.-1).