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

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

ASSESSMENT OF SEAWEED DIVERSITY AT HARE ISLAND ALONG THE SOUTH EAST


COAST OF INDIA
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.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
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.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
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
ASSESSMENT OF SEAWEED DIVERSITY AT HARE ISLAND (306)

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

cont.
(307) CANCIYAL, MOGALEKAR AND JAWAHAR

cont.
ASSESSMENT OF SEAWEED DIVERSITY AT HARE ISLAND (308)

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

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


(309) CANCIYAL, MOGALEKAR AND JAWAHAR

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.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
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
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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).