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IJMS Vol.30(3) [September 2001] >


Title:  Seasonal variations in taxonomic composition, abundance and food web relationship of microzooplankton in estuarine and mangrove waters, Parangipettai region, southeast coast of India
Authors: Godhantaraman, N.
Issue Date: Sep-2001
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Seasonal abundance and the relationship of microzooplankton with higher trophic levels were studied in the tropical estuarine and mangrove waters, from Parangipettai (11° 29’ N; 79° 46’ E). Taxonomic composition and abundance of microzooplankton exhibited clear seasonal variations, being highest in summer and lowest in monsoon. The overall mean abundance in summer was 4.0 fold (estuary) and 2.5 fold (mangrove) higher than in monsoon. Over the study period, tintinnid ciliates overwhelmingly dominated the microzooplankton community both in terms of species diversity (mean 62%) and abundance (mean 65%). The remaining taxa included rotifers, copepod nauplii, naked ciliates, metazoan larval forms and veliger larvae. Their position in the food web was assumed from the gut content of the common secondary and tertiary consumers. The food web relationships closely followed the existing seasonal pattern of microzooplankton abundance, i.e. tintinnids, cirriped nauplii, veliger larvae, foraminiferans and naked ciliates constituted the basic food for the higher trophic level organisms during dry months (January to September), whereas in (rainy) monsoon season (October to December) the food items comprised of those from rotifers, copepod nauplii and some euryhaline tintinnids. The seasonal variations of microzooplankton abundance is positively correlated with environmental (temperature and salinity) and biological variables (chlorophyll a). Thus, summer and monsoon conditions exert major influence on the microzooplankton community and the food web structure of the Parangipettai waters.
Page(s): 151-160
ISSN: 0975-1033 (Online); 0379-5136 (Print)
Source:IJMS Vol.30(3) [September 2001]

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