Interaction between Two Prominent Benthic Communities in Intertidal Ecosystem of Kathiawar Peninsula

Paresh Poriya, Rahul Kundu

Abstract


Intertidal zone of Kathiawar peninsular coastline shows a great deal of biological diversity. However, many changes in the diversity and distribution patterns of the intertidal macrofauna were observed in the vertical zones during the past few years. Two rocky intertidal sessile communities were studied along the western coast of India by hypothesising if there is any measurable change in the existing community structure or not. The micro-spatial and temporal variations were evaluated seasonally for one year by measuring percent cover of two prominent coexisting communities of Barnacles and Zoantharians. The distribution pattern of Barnacles and Zoantharians significantly varied within the micro-spatial scale, but only moderately within larger scales as increasing distance. The variation in recruitment process of barnacles and asexual budding of Zoantharians were the most important determinant factors of spatial variability of community dynamics at study sites during the study period. We also observed the expansion and setting up of new significantly large colonies of Zoantharians which were found eradicating the existing algal and faunal communities like barnacles. The observed competition was for the requirement of space for settlement and growth of the species involved. Invasion and increasing diversity of this cnidarian species also indicates the effects of a probable climate change.

Keywords


Zoantharians; Barnacles; Competition; Invasion; Intertidal Communities; Gujarat

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