DIVERSITY AND ABUNDANCE OF SCLERACTINIA CORALS IN CAR NICOBAR ISLAND, INDIA
|Koushik Sadhukhan and C. Raghunathan
Zoological survey of India, Andaman and Nicobar Regional Centre, National Coral Reef Research Institute, Port Blair- 744 102, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
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Scleractinia species survey were conducted at four sites of Car Nicobar Island between April’ 2010 to February’ 2011. Coral reefs, the most diverse and complex of all ecosystems, which are also among the most economically valuable to humankind are being heavily exploited. We undertook a systematic assessment of coral reef areas to study the biodiversity of coral species including bleaching status of coral species, mortality index, and relative abundance. A total of 48 coral species belonging to 10 families and 25 genera were recorded from this Island. The average percentage of live coral, dead coral and bleached coral cover is 27.3%, 26.5% and 46.3% respectively. Percentage of species composition was higher in Faviidae (27.1%) and Acroporidae (22.9%) family of hard corals. The species diversity was highest at stn-2 (2.51) and Pieoul’s evenness index (0.91) was highest in Stn-1. The coral family Faviidae and Acroporidae shows higher percentage of species composition than other reported families of corals from Car Nicobar Island. Due to massive bleaching and less percentage of live coral cover the reef becomes inaudibly sick but this island has a very good species diversity that can support a rich diversity of marine animals in this Island