Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 59 Issue 1

Assessing multiple stressors on macrofaunal benthic communities along the coastal ecosystem of southern Kerala

Y. Mumthas and M. T. P. Miranda

This paper explores the multiple stressors on benthic macro invertebrate  communities of three environmentally disturbed stations along the coast of
Kerala, southwest coast of India. Seasonal sampling (pre-monsoon,  monsoon, and post-monsoon) was done for a period of one year (2013-
2014). The benthic fauna comprised of Gastropods (G), Bivalves (B),  Polychaetes (P), Nematodes (N) and Scaphopods (S). Hydrological (Temperature, pH, Salinity, Dissolved Oxygen, Total Dissolved Solids,
Nutrients, Chlorophyll a, Heavy metals (HM), Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons
(PAHs)) and sedimentological parameters (Temperature, Sediment texture,
Organic Carbon, Organic matter) were determined. The temporal and spatial distribution of benthos at the four sites were identified in the order S1: G>P>B, S2: G>B>P>N>S, S3: G>B>P>N and S4: G>B>N>P.
Principle Component Analysis (PCA) revealed the correlation between  sedimentological parameters and macrofaunal assemblages, with most
significant variation occurring at site 1 (50.50%) and 3 (43.40%), moderate at site 2 (33.34%) and site 4 (33.40%). Agglomerative hierarchical clustering (AHC) reflected the ecological distances of hydrological parameters between sites. The study, thus relates to the temporal and spatial istribution of macrobenthic invertebrate communities and the prevailing coastal pollution.


Kerala coast, multiple stressors, anthropogenic impact, macrobenthos, coastal pollution

Date : 10-06-2017