The present study was undertaken to study the benthic productivity of shelf region off Krishna River mouth. Standing stock of macrobenthos and its distribution were studied. Sampling was done onboard FORV Sagar Sampada from depths as 30, 50, 75, 100, 150 and 200 m using Smith-McIntyre grab having a bite area of 0.2 m2. After identification, data were treated using statistical package PRIMER v6. The nature of the sediment was medium sand up to 150 m depth and fine silt at 200 m. The benthic biomass (0.2977-3.1091 mg 0.2 m-2), abundance (58-289 nos. 0.2 m-2 and number of species (12-48) decreased with increase in depth. The total number of species recorded was 69. Species estimators showed the possibility of collecting 129 species (Chao1) with intense sampling. Polychaetes formed the largest group with 40 species followed by molluscs (15 species) and crustaceans (14 species). The Spearman rank correlation (Rho) value (0.513) which was significant at 1.1% showed gradual change in species composition with increase in depth. The Pi value (3.78) comparing the similarity of benthos at 200 m depth with those of other depths (30, 150, 100, 75 and 50 m) showed significant differences (0.6%). Matching of biotic variables with that of environment showed the influence of dissolved oxygen on the distribution of macrobenthos (Rho 0.757). Intense sampling should be done to record all the species as shown by species estimators besides studying shelf productivity off other rivers and relating it with nutrient discharge and other environmental factors including sediment nature.
S. Raja, S. Ajmal Khan, P.S. Lyla and S. Manokaran, 2014. Diversity of Macrofauna from Continental Shelf off Singarayakonda (Southeast Coast of India). Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 17: 641-649.