Articles written in Proceedings – Animal Sciences
Volume 92 Issue 1 January 1983 pp 73-85
Mean number of total meiofauna individuals in the intertidal estuarine sediments around the island ranged from 1/10 cm2 to 517/10 cm2. Nematodes and copepods were the dominant taxa comprising over 80% of the total fauna. Higher meiofaunal densities occurred over the lower shore. The fauna was concentrated mostly in top 4 cm of sediment, showing little submergence towards higher tidal levels. No diurnal and seasonal vertical migrations of meiofauna were observed. Two small seasonal peaks of meiofaunal abundance were noted. Total population values were highest in summer and lowest during monsoon. Nematodes reached their maximum in winter and copepods in summer. Variations in salinity appeared to be responsible for the seasonal pattern. The present meiofaunal densities are considerably lower than those recorded in other areas. The highly fluctuating hydrographical conditions and the fine sediment with silt-clay fraction, poor drainage, low oxygen content, etc., are considered responsible for the paucity of meiofauna in this area.