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

Paresh Poriya, Rahul Kundu


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.


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


Bhadja, P. and Kundu R. 2012. Status of the seawater quality at few industrially important coasts of Gujarat (India) off Arabian Sea. Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences 41(1): 954–961.

Bhadja, P.; Poriya P. and Kundu R. 2014. Community structure and distribution pattern of intertidal invertebrate macrofauna at some anthropogenically influenced coasts of Kathiawar peninsula (India). Advances in Ecology 2014: 1-7. Article ID 547395.

Chaudhari, B. 2014. Diversity and Distribution of Marine Worms of Kathiawar Peninsula. M.Phil. Thesis. Saurashtra University, Rajkot, India. 116 pages.

Ciereszko, L.S. and Karns T.K.B. 1973. Comparative biochemistry of coral reef coelenterates. Pages 183-203, In: Jones, O.A. and Endean, R. (Editors) Biology and Geology of Coral Reefs. Volume II. Biology. Academic Press, New York.

Coates, M. 1998. A comparison of intertidal assemblages on exposed and sheltered tropical and temperate rocky shores. Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters 7: 115-124.

Connell, J.H. 1976. Competitive interactions and the species diversity of corals. p. 51-58. In: Mackie, G.O. (Editor). Coelenterate Ecology and Behavior. Plenum Press, New York.

Connell, J.H. 1961. The effects of competition, predation by Thais lapillus, and other factors on natural populations of the barnacle, Balanus balanoides. Ecological Monograph 31: 61-104.

Connell, J.H. 1970. A predator-prey system in the marine intertidal region. I. Balanus glandula and several predatory species of Thais. Ecological Monograph 40: 49-78.

Connell, J.H. 1985. The consequences of variation in initial settlement vs. post settlement mortality in rocky intertidal communities. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 93:11-45.

Dayton, P.K. 1971. Competition, disturbance and com-munity organization: the provision and subsequent utilization of space in a rocky intertidal community. Ecological Monograph 41: 351-389.

Dethier, M.N.; Graham E.S.; Cohen S. and L. M. Tear. 1993. Visual versus random-point percent cover estimations: ‘objective’ is not always better. Marine Ecological Progress Series 96: 93–100.

Faladu, J.; Vakani, B.; Poriya, P. and Kundu R. 2014. Habitat preference and population ecology of limpets Cellana karachiensis (Winckworth) and Siphonaria siphonaria (Sowerby) at Veraval coast of Kathiawar Peninsula, India. Journal of Ecosystem Article ID 874013, 6 pages, DOI: 10.1155/2014/874013.

Gohil, B. and Kundu R. 2011. Ecological status of Rhinoclavis sinensis at Dwarka Coast, Gujarat (India). The Ecoscan 5(3 & 4): 131-134.

Gohil, B. and Kundu R. 2013a. Ecological status of Cerethium caeruleum at Dwarka coast, Gujarat (India). Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Science. 42: 481-486

Gohil, B. and Kundu R. 2013b. Ecological Status of Cellana radiata at Dwarka Coast, Gujarat, India. Research Journal of Recent Sciences. 2: 1-5.

Gohil, B.; Poriya P. and Kundu, R. 2011. Status of Intertidal macro faunal and floral diversity of Dwarka Sea Coast in prospects of some environmental factor. Bionano Frontier 4(2): 290-293.

Harold, S.; Henderson, C.; Baguette, M.; Bonsall, M.B.; Hughes, D. and Settele, J. 2014. BMC Ecology image competition 2014: the winning images. BMC Ecology 14:24.

Jackson, J.B.C. 1977. Competition on marine hard substrata: the adaptive significance of solitary and colonial strategies. American Naturalist 111: 743-768.

Jenkins, S.R.; Åberg, P.; Cervin, G.; Coleman, R.A.; Delany, J.; Hawkins, S.J.; Hyder, K.; Myers, A.A.; Paula, J.; Power, A.M. Range, P. and Hartnoll, R.G. 2001. Population dynamics of the intertidal barnacle Semibalanus balanoides at three European locations: spatial scales of variability. Marine Ecological Progress Series 217: 207–217

Kaladharan, P.; Asokan, P.K. and Said Koya, K.P. 2011. Revival of bleached Zoanthus sociatus (Ellis and Solander, 1786) in the intertidal waters of Thikkodi, Malabar Coast, Kerala. Journal of Marine Biological Association of India 53 (1): 157–159.

Lang, J.C. 1973. Interspecific aggression by scleractinian corals II. Why the race is not only to the swift. Bulletin of Marine Science 23: 260-279.

Lewis, J.R. 1964. The Ecology of Rocky Shores. The English Universities Press, London. Xx pages.

Lubchenco, J. 1978. Plant species diversity in a marine intertidal community: importance of herbivore food preference and algal competitive abilities. The American Naturalist 112: 23-39.

Meese, R.J. and Tomich, P. A. 1992. Dots on the rocks: a comparison of percent cover estimations methods. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 165: 59–73.

Menge, B.A. and Lubchenco, J. 1981. Community organization in temperate and tropical rocky intertidal habitats: prey refuges in relation to consumer pressure gradients. Ecological Monographs 51: 429-450.

Menge, B.A. 1976. Organization of the New England rocky intertidal community: Role of predation, competition and environmental heterogeneity. Ecological monograph 46: 355-393.

Menge, B.A. 2000. Recruitment vs. post recruitment processes as determinants of barnacle population abundance. Ecological Monographs 70: 265–288.

Misra, S. and Kundu, R. 2005. Seasonal variations on population dynamics of key intertidal mollusc at two contrasting locations. Aquatic Ecology 39: 315-324.

Moore, R.E. and Scheuer, P.J. 1971. Palytoxin: a new marine toxin from a coelenterate. Science 172: 495–498.

Mundy, R. 2008. Occurrence and toxicology of palytoxins. pages 693–713, In: Botana, L. M. (Editors) Seafood and Freshwater Toxins: Pharmacology, Physiology, and Detection. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Osman, R.W. 1975. The establishment and development of a marine epifaunal community. Ecological Monograph. 47: 37-63.

Ott, B. and Lewis, J.B. 1972. The importance of the gastropod Coralliophila abbreviata (Lamarck) and the polychaete Hermodice carunculata. Canadian Journal of Zoology 50: 1651-1656.

Paine, R.T. 1966. Food web complexity and species diversity. American Naturalist 100: 65-75.

Paine, R.T. 1974. Intertidal community structure: experimental studies on the relationship between a dominant competitor and its principle predator. Oecologia 15: 93-120.

Polak, O.; Yossi, L.; Brickner, I.; Kramarski-Winter, E. and Benayahu, Y. 2011. The widely-distributed Indo-Pacific zoanthid Palythoa tuberculosa: a sexually conservative strategist. Bulletin of Marine Science 87(3): 605–621.

Poriya, P. and Kundu, R. 2014. Species invasion and succession as community and ecosystem responses towards climate change in the rocky intertidal ecosystems of Kathiawar Peninsula. Journal of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries 2: 426-430.

Porter, J.W. 1972. Patterns of species diversity in Caribbean reef corals. Ecology 53: 745-748.

Raffaelli, D. and Hawkins, S. 1996. Intertidal Ecology. Chapman and Hall, London. 356 pages.

Richardson, C.A.; Dustan, P. and Lang, J.C. 1979. Maintenance of living space by sweeper tentacles of Montastrea cavernosa, a Caribbean reef coral. Marine Biology 55: 181-186.

Sanford, E. and Menge, B.A. 2001. Spatial and temporal variation in barnacle growth in a coastal upwelling system. Marine Ecology Progress Series 209: 143–157.

Sanford, E,; Bermudez, D.; Bertness, M.D.; and Gaines, S.D. 1994. Flow, food supply and acorn barnacle population dynamics. Marine Ecology Progress Series 104: 49–62.

Shiroma, E. and Reimer, J.D. 2010. Investigations into the Reproductive Patterns, Ecology, and Morphology in the Zoanthid Genus Palythoa (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia) in Okinawa, Japan. Zoological Studies 49(2): 182-194.

Sneha, J.; Poriya, P.; Vakani, B.; Singh, S.P. and Kundu, R. 2014a. Identification of a group of cryptic marine limpet species, Cellana karachiensis (Mollusca: Patellogastropoda) off Veraval coast, India, using mtDNA COI sequencing. Mitochondrial DNA DOI:10.3109/19401736.2014.945577.

Sneha J.; Poriya, P. and Kundu, R. 2014b. Probing the phylogenetic relationships of a few newly recorded intertidal Zoantharians of Gujarat coast (India) with mtDNA COI sequences. Mitochondrial DNA DOI:10.3109/19401736.2014.971239.

Sokal, R.R. and Rohlf, F.J. 1987. Introduction to Biostatistics. Dover Publication. USA. pp. 160-184.

Southward, A.J. 1991. Forty years of changes in species composition and population density of barnacles on a rocky shore near Plymouth. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 71: 495–513.

Stephenson, T.A. and Stephenson, A. 1949. The universal features of zonation between tide-marks on rocky coasts. Journal of Ecology 37: 289-305.

Suchanek, T.H. and Green, D.J. 1981. Interspecific competition between Palythoa caribaeorum and other sessile invertebrates on ST. Croix Reefs, U.S. Virgin Islands. Proceedings of the Fourth International Coral Reef Symposium, Manila. 2: 679-684.

Taylor, L.R. and Woiwod, I.P. 1982. Comparative synoptic dynamics. I. Relationships between inter and intra-specific spatial and temporal variance/mean population parameters. Journal of Animal Ecology 51:879–906.

Tsang, L.M,Y.; Achituv, K. H.; Chu, B. and Chan, K.K. 2012. Zoogeography of intertidal communities in the West Indian ocean as determined by ocean circulation systems: Patterns from the Tetraclita barnacles. PLoS ONE 7(9): e45120.

Vaghela, A.; Bhadja, P.; Ramoliya, J.; Patel, N. and Kundu, R. 2010. Seasonal variations in the water quality, diversity and population ecology of intertidal macrofauna at an industrially influenced coast. Water Science and Technology 61 (6): 1505-1514.

Vaghela, A. and Kundu, R. 2012. Spatiotemporal variation of hermit crab (Crustacea: Decapoda) inhabiting rocky shore along Saurashtra coast, western part of India. Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Science. 41: 146-151.

Vakani, B.; Poriya, P. and Kundu, R. 2014. Spatio-temporal variations in the population ecology of two limpets in a rocky intertidal shore of south Saurashtra coast (Gujarat: India). The Ecoscan 8 (1 and 2): 71-75

Wagh, A.B. 1969. New records of intertidal barnacles from India. Current Science 14: 344–345.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

COPYRIGHT of this Journal vests fully with the National Instional Institute of Ecology. Any commercial use of the content on this site in any form is legally prohibited.