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Research Article Open Access
Pelagic tunicates are the major components of herbivorous zooplankton biomass in the upper layers of warm seas and are able to colonize when the conditions are suitable and they grow faster rate than other zooplankton. The distribution and abundance of pelagic tunicates were studied in relation to physicochemical parameter variables during April 2008 to March 2010 in Parangipettai coastal waters of Bay of Bengal. Totally, 15 species of pelagic tunicates were identified during the study period. The pelagic tunicate density was high during February 09 and low during November 08. Most of the species observed during premonsoon and postmonsoon season. Generally, salps were the most abundant groups than the doliolids and appendicularians. Salpafusiformiswas more abundant species in all seasons than the other species of tunicates. The distribution and abundance of pelagic tunicate were showed significant (P<0.01) positively correlated with temperature and salinity during the study periods.
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Author(s): A Kannathasan P Ezhilarasan P Sampathkumar and K Balamurugan
Salpafusiformis, pelagic tunicate, environmental parameters, diversity indices, correlation coefficient, Parangipettai coastal water, environmental parameters