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Research Article Open Access
The reef ecosystem is considered to be the richest ecosystem, next to the rain forest. It harbours good species diversity, both in terms of flora and fauna thriving in close association; maintains distinct pattern of biotic assemblages including rare and endangered species. This study aims at understanding the ecological values of the coral reef ecosystem at the Marine National Park in the Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat State, India. For this, a comprehensive ecological study has been carried out at the Pirotan Island, which is the core area of the Marine National Park. The results of the study indicate that a total of 89 species of fauna and 31 species of flora (seaweeds and seagrasses) were found during the study period. Gastropods were abundant, followed by bivalves and other reef associated fauna. From the study it has been concluded that, the Pirotan Island reef habitat also supports several rare and endangered species. The flora-fauna population and diversity varied from low to moderate levels. Seasonal changes do not seem to have much impact on the floral-faunal abundance and diversity. The study reveals that Pirotan Island ranks first in species diversity in the whole of the Gulf of Kachchh. The reef ecosystem is being threatened from developmental pressures like port activities, crude oil imports and from high natural sedimentation rates occurring in this area.
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Author(s): K Ramamoorthy G Sankar and K Sakkaravarthi
Biota, Flora, Fauna, Reef, Coral, Gulf of Kachchh