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Title: Organic matter, nutrients and major ions in the sediments of coral reefs and seagrass beds of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve, southeast coast of India
Authors: Vinithkurnar, N V
Kumaresan, S
Manjusha, M
Balasubrarnanian, T
Issue Date: Dec-1999
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract: Comparative investigations have been made to study the distribution pattern of organic matter, nutrients and major ions in the Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve ecosystem. Sediment samples have been collected during January 1996 from six islands (Shingle, Kurusadai, Kori, Pumarichan, Manauli and Hare) of this region covering coral reef zone, seagrass bed and adjacent areas. Although textural composition of sediment samples showed predominantly sandy, coral bed areas were found to have greater percentage of coral stones and shell fragments and with very low silt and clay fractions. About 0.5 to 40 % by dry weight of the sediments were made up of Ca derived from the coral and molluscan organisms, due to weathering processes. The coral reef sediments recorded low salinity and higher pH compared to seagrass bed and adjacent areas. Total organic carbon (TOC) content (1.38 to 9.11 mg/g) of the reef sediments were low when compared to the seagrass bed and adjacent areas. Higher concentrations of total nitrogen and total phosphorus were found in the coral reef zone and seagrass bed revealed that these areas may be viewed as a sink for nutrients, whereas the adjacent areas act as reservoir for nutrients. The contribution of seagrass and reef associated organisms play an important role in the recycling of nutrients in these environments. The seagrass bed sediments recorded higher Na and K concentrations than the coral reef zone and adjacent areas could be due to the utilization and trapping of these ions by seagrass and associated organisms.
Page(s): 383-393
ISSN: 0975-1033 (Online); 0379-5136 (Print)
Appears in Collections:IJMS Vol.28(4) [December 1999]

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