Meiofauna and microalgae associates on the pneumatophores of Avicennia marina from the coastal waters of South Andaman, India
Limaangnen Pongener, G Padmavati, R Jayabarathi
Meiofauna and associated microalgae assemblage from the pneumatophore roots of Avicennia marina was investigated from two different locations of South Andaman during December 2012 to February 2013. Average meiofauna abundance was higher at St.2 (p> 0.05; t-test) compared to St.1. Dissolved oxygen was the single most key factor that showed wide variation (2.2 - 4.9 mg/L) during the study period and strongly correlated with meiofauna (r= 0.99), suggesting the requisite for thriving of meiofauna in the root system. The biotic surface of pneumatophores supported a variety of motile meiofauna which showed a weak/ negative correlation (r= -1.0) with the epiphytes exhibiting their feeding relationship. A total of 67 meiofaunal species belonging to 9 different taxonomic groups were recorded. Harpacticoida (17.4 - 43.4%) was the most dominant taxon, followed by Sarcomastigophora (14.4 - 29.4%) and Nematoda (5.1 - 6.2%). The pneumatophores in the present study clearly supported high assemblages of meiofauna along with the microalgae. The present study is the first report on pneumatophore associated meiofauna and epiphytic microalgae from the coastal waters of South Andaman.