Document Type : Original Research Paper
Andaman Nicobar Center for Ocean Science and Technology (ANCOST), India
ESSO-National Institute of Ocean Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, India
Flora and fauna of rocky coastal habitats are versatile in adapting to the prevalent tidal fluctuations. The current study was undertaken to evaluate the diversity of fouling and associated species around the Port Blair coastal areas of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Except TSS, the hydrographical parameters (temperature, salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen) did not significantly vary among the 5 selected stations. Fifty one species of macrofoulers were recorded belonging to macroalgae (8 species), porifera (1 species), cnidaria (9 species), bryozoa (3 species), polychaete (5 species), crustacea (6 species), mollusca (15 species), echinoderm (2 species), and tunicate (2 species). The species Balanus amphitrite, Tetraclita squamosa and Saccostrea cuccullata were dominant in all the stations. The maximum macrofoulers density was observed at Chatham (95 ± 0.81 individuals/m2) and the minimum (30 ± 4.49 individuals/m2) at Minnie Bay. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis indicated that arthopods and molluscs are predominant in the fouling community.