Community Structure of the Honeycomb Worm Neosabellaria clandestinus From a Biogenic Reef of Gujarat Coast, India

Bhavendra Chaudhari, Paresh Poriya, Rahul Kundu

Abstract


This communication reports the community structure of Neosabellaria clandestinus on Sarkeshwar coast at the mouth of Gulf of Khambhat in Kathiawar Peninsula, Gujarat (20° 50ˈ  N, 71° 19ˈ E). The  coast has a sandy intertidal zone with rocky outcrops. The landscape of tidal flat supports both the Ulva sp. bed and N. clandestinus assemblage for biogenic reef formation. We examined the distribution pattern of the newly developing  biogenic reef and associated species,  the spatio - temporal variations in the cover of the area, and the species composition of the community associated with reef stages. Field observations and random quadrat method were used for a year from September 2013 to August 2014. The results indicated that the honeycomb worm, N. clandestinus created, maintained, and modified or destroyed the large biogenic reefs which constitute diversity hotspots on the tidal flats. Results revealed that N. clandestinus was the dominant macro-benthos competing for space with the dominant alga Ulva sp. for the biogenic reef formation in the middle intertidal zone. The study revealed that the biogenic reef building followed an annual cycle during which the well-established reef was partly destroyed in some peripheral areas. These areas again passed through the re-establishment process but encountered fierce competition from other benthic communities. The degraded reef stages has more complex assemblage compared to ball-shaped stage and platform stage.

Keywords


Habitat Ecology; Biogenic Reef; Sabellariid Worm; Species Composition; Gulf of Khambhat

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