Comparing composition and abundance of macroinfauna on sandy beaches and coral reefs at Mu Ko Chumphon, the Western Gulf of Thailand
Keywords:polychaet, Polydora, diversity, the western Gulf of Thailand
Macrofauna in sedimentary environment of coastal habitats such as sandy beach, mangrove and coral reef are one of important components of coastal ecosystems. Knowledge of connectivity between coral reef and its associated communities is needed to better understand the complexity of food webs in marine and coastal ecosystems. There are no studies on gradient of infaunal communities between coral reef and sandy beach at the same location in Thailand. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate composition and abundance of infauna living in sandy beach and soft bottom of coral reef at Ko Mattra and Ko Maphrao, Mu Ko Chumphon. Five major macrofauna were observed. Nematodes and polychaetes were the major groups at both sandy beach and coral reef habitats. The polychaete Polydora sp. was abundant species on sandy beach at both study sites. The diversity of infauna on coral reef community was much higher than that of sandy beach. However, the abundance of macrofauna on sandy beach was significantly higher than those coral reefs. The correlation between the abundance of macrofauna and median grain size was correlated but no significantly difference. This study implies application of infauna for a bioindicator of sandy beach and coral reef ecosystems as well as utilization for fisheries, mariculture and natural products for pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.
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