Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 61 Issue 2

Shrinking seagrass meadowsobservations from four Lagoons of Lakshadweep Archipelago


P. Kaladharan and A. Anasukoya

Seagrass meadows worldwide are declining fast, taking with them many species which depend on these underwater prairies as their habitat and feeding as well as breeding grounds. Our results obtained on the biomass and density of seagrass vegetation in the reef and lagoons of Agatti, Chetlat, Kavaratti and Kiltan Islands of U.T. Lakshadweep, indicated gradual but steady shrinking of seagrass meadows. The percentage reduction in density of seagrass meadows since December 2011 to November 2015 was estimated at 88.5% in Agatti, 88.7% in Chetlat, 78.4% in Kavaratti and 81.3% in Kiltan. Wet biomass of parts below the sediment were always higher than the epigeal parts comprising leaves, stem and bracts. The possible reason behind this decline in seagrass biomass might be grazing, deterioration of water quality due to increased anthropogenic activities and climate change. This situation calls for urgent steps to monitor the ecology and physico-chemical parameters of water and sediment in the existing meadows and to undertake immediate habitat restoration programmes.



 seagrass meadows, Lakshadweep archipelago, wet biomass, root-shoot ratio 

Date : 30-03-2020