Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 2 Issue 2

Flora of the pearl beds off Tuticorin.

Prasanna Varma R

THIS account deals with the algae collected during a survey of the pearl and chank beds off Tuticorin during December 1958 to May 1959, conducted by Dr. F. Baschieri-Salvadori, F.A.O. Underwater Expert, in collaboration with Mr. K. Nagappan Nayar of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute and Mr. Isaac Rajendran of Madras State Fisheries, to whom the author is grateful for the algal collections. In addition, during the above period pearl fishery was in progress (March to May) and the algae brought by divers along with oysters were also studied by the author. 
Practically no information is available on the deep water algae of the Indian coast except a few records published by Boergesen (1937a, 19376 and 1938). The present account gives a fair picture of the flora of these pearl beds (Paars) in relation to substratum and depth. Though all the Paars had some form of algal vegetation, of the 33 Paars examined, only 11 had luxuriant growth of algae. Broadly, these Paars are grouped into four zones based on the dominant community ; i.e., dominated by red algae as in Zone I, dominated by green algae as in Zone II, a balanced vegetation without any particular group dominating as in Zone III, and dominated by brown algae as in Zone IV. It may be mentioned here that Zone III merges with Zone IV and the dominance by brown algae in Zone IV is not very distinct. Table 1 gives the details of Paars, substratum and algal growth ; Text-Fig. 1 indicates the Paars studied


pearl bed

Date : 30-12-1960