Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 40 Issue 1&2

A critique on the occurrence and distribution of macrozoobenthos in a traditional prawn field and adjacent mangroves in Cochin backwaters.

R. Sunilkumar

Community structure and distribution of macro-zoobenthos in a 'Chemmeen Kettu'--an aquaculture pond was evaluated in relation to prevailing environmental factors and compared with the macrofauna of mangroves in the surrounding margin of pond Macrofaunal density estimated was 8918/m2 and 5254/m2 in the pond and mangrove habitat respectively. Polychaetes dominated in the pond (43.91%) and mangroves (41.23%) followed by mollusoas and cnstaccsm. The rich population density and species composition in the prawn field, compared to mangroves, was related to the variability in substratum characteristics.

The characteristic difference in sediment textural complexity seem to be responsible for the variability in community structure of bentha in the two habitats. Dominance of benthos particularly polychaetes in 'Chemmeen Kettu' field was significantly associated with the food resouras input from decomposed mangrove litters in the form of detritus. The supply of detritus may also virtually enhance the availability of nutrients in the water of the prawn field This suggests better scope for aquaculture in brackish water pond lined with mangroves in the margin.



Date : 30-12-1998