Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 47 Issue 2

Assessment of species diversity and coral cover of Velapertumuni Reef, Palk Bay, India

Sandhya Sukumaran, Rani Mary George and C. Kasinathan

Velapertumuni Reef, a fringing reef of Palk Bay was surveyed for the assessment of the coral cover and biodiversity during September 2004, following the Line Intercept Transect Method and their geographical positions were fixed using the Global Positioning System. The percentages of live and dead coral cover at each site were derived and a total of 12 hard coral species were found on the transects; Pontes solida was the major species at 6 sites, followed by Favia pallida at 2 sites and Acropora cytllerea and Porites lutea were dominant in 5th and 8th sites respectively. Therefore, except for one site the massive corals were dominant in all other areas. The total live and dead coral cover for the reef as a whole was estimated as 44% and 26% respectively and the remaining part was covered with coralline algae, sand and rubble. Dead coral cover was dominated by poritids, but acroporids showed the highest ratio of dead coral to live coral cover. Further, relative abundance values were derived for each species and they were assigned status as dorninantlabundant/ common/uncommon/rare. Accordingly, P. solida was the only species in the "dominant "category; P.lutea and E pallida belonged to the category "abundant" and all other species were given either "common" or "uncommon" status. The Shannon indices of diversity in most of the sites were low varying from 0-2 and the reef as a whole showed a diversity of 1.47. The species richness and evenness values also showed low values of 5.4 and 0.59 respectively.


Velapertumuni Reef, Coral cover, Community analysis, Palk Bay.

Date : 30-12-2005