Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 57 Issue 1

Meiobenthic diversity and abundance along Arthunkal coast in Kerala,
southwest coast of India

Sinu J. Varghese* and M. T. P. Miranda

Meiobenthos are key indicators of aquatic environmental pollution and stress and can be used as effective tools in biomonitoring programs to assess the overall health of oceans. The present paper highlights the dynamics of meiobenthic assemblages in relation to environmental variables along the coast of Arthunkal in Kerala, India from February 2013 to January 2014. Meiobenthic composition consisted of fifteen taxa in which nematodes (85.02%), foraminiferans (25.38%), ciliates (10.92%), copepods (6.66%) and polychaetes (7.47%) dominated.Diversity indices indicate moderate pollution and uneven distribution. PCA analysis revealed the relation between environmental variables like bottom water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, silicate-silicon,sediment organic carbon, texture and meiobenthic distribution. Nematodes, foraminiferans and polychaetes were found to be abundant in sediments with a temperature of 29.60±0.55ºC, organic matter 2.108±1.60%, pH 8.25±0.36 and silty texture while copepods preferred a sandy habitat. The study also revealed the presence of biomonitors signalling the need for conservation and management of the bioresources of Arthunkal.


Arthunkal coast, meiobenthos, diversity indices, hydrological variables, conservation.

Date : 30-06-2015