Summary of Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission No. IO50-09-0045PresentationPoster

BIOGEOGRAPHY OF SCLERACTINIAN CORAL FROM INDIAN REEFS

Kalyan De*1, Sanitha K. Sivadas1, Afreen Hussain1, Baban Ingole1

1 CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India

ABSTRACT :

Like the other regions of the world, destruction and extinction of coral reefs in India are due to increasing anthropogenic stressors and climate change. India has extensive coral reefs along its vast coastline. However, biogeographic study of Indian scleractinian is understudied. Therefore, the goal of this study is understand the large-scale biodiversity patterns of scleractinian of India. We selected five major coral reefs (Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Manner and Palk Bay) conjointly three patchy and bank reefs (Malvan, Grande Islands, Netrani and Angria). Data were collected during various projects of NIO and published literature. Jaccard similarity index was used to identify similarity among reefs. The scleractinian were represented by 480 species with highest species recorded in Andaman and Nicobar (359). Jaccard cluster shows clustering of adjacent coral reefs. Three clusters were observed (1) Lakshadweep and Andaman (37% similarity), (2) Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar (35%) and (3) Gulf of Kutch and Malvan (23%). Impact of disturbance on the coral reef was seen based on the distribution of sensitive and tolerant species. Sensitive family (Acroporidae) were observed in comparatively pristine regions (Andaman and Lakshadweep) while stress tolerant families (Siderasteridae, Poritidae) from Gulf of Kutch, Palk Bay and Malvan; regions photogenically affected. This study demonstrates biodiversity patterns and key threatening processes in Indian reefs which could be useful towards effective management and conservation to avert the loss of these important ecosystem.