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macrobenthos of meghna river estuary, bangaldesh

macrobenthos of meghna river estuary, bangaldesh

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Published by: Mohammad Belal Hossain on Aug 07, 2012
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Title code: IJSAT/ 090602 Use this code for further enquiry and online searching

Int. J. Sustain. Agril. Tech. 5(3): 11-16, June 2009 An online Journal of “G-Science Implementation and Publication”, website: www.gscience.net


Lecturer, Department of Fisheries and Marine Science, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Sonapur, Noakhali-3802, Bangladesh, 2Professor, IMSF, University of Chittagong, Chittagong-4331, Bangladesh and 3 Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. *Corresponding author Email:belalhossain@yahoo.com.
ABSTRACT The macrzoobenthos of the Meghna river estuary was studied during May, 2002 (Premonsoon), September, 2002 (Monsoon) and February, 2003 (Postmonsoon) representing three main seasons of a year using a Peterson grab to know the composition and variation in space and time. The fauna comprised of 20 taxa, chiefly being composed of oligochaetes (53.75%), polychaetes (33.31%) and mesogastropods (4.94%). These three groups together contributed about 90% of total population. Population density varied from 96 to 9410 ind./m2. The maximum and minimum incidence was found during postmonsoon and monsoon at Chandpur and Hatiya respectively. A rapid decline of faunal density during monsoon and subsequent colonization during postmonsoon were observed.

Keywords: Macrozoobenthos, Seasonal variation, Abundance and Meghna river estuary.

INTRODUCTION Macrobenthos are among the most important components of an estuarine ecosystem and may represent the largest standing stock of organic carbon in the system (Rao and Misra, 1988). Many benthic organisms, such as hard clams, soft-shell clams and prawns are the basis of the estuarine commercial fisheries. Other bottom-dwelling organisms, such as polychaete worms and small crustaceans, contribute significantly to the diets of economically important fish. Benthic communities vary considerably according to environmental conditions (McLusky, 1989). Most benthic macroinvertebrates have highly aggregated small-scale distribution induced by several environmental variables, such as substratum type, food availability and predation (Cummins, 1962). Meghna is the biggest estuary in Bangladesh. The joined flow of the three mighty rivers forms the estuary. It occupies almost all the central coast of Bangladesh. Although a good number of works (e.g., Hossain, 1983; Kamal, 1992; and Belaluzzaman, 1995) on hydrobiology of other estuaries have been conducted but detail eco-biological study of this estuary is scanty. Sharif (2002), gave a gross idea on macrobenthos of Meghna estuary that deals with only its distribution covering two seasons of a year. So the present investigation was conducted to study the composition and variation of macrobenthos in the study area during different seasons. MATERIALS AND METHODS Samples were collected from Swandwip, Hatiya, Bhola, Barishal and Chandpur during May, 2002 (Premonsoon), September, 2002 (Monsoon) and February, 2003 (Postmonsoon). Sampling locations: Five representative stations with different ecological attributes were selected for seasonal sampling. (a) Swandwip: It is an island at the extreme downstream of the estuary, subjected to high erosion during monsoon. Salinity ranges from 1-15 ppt. Tidal influence is strong here. Continuous fishing occurs near the station. Sampling depth was 10-25m. Geographical location is at 22˚29. 319'N and 91˚25.668'E.


Title code: IJSAT/ 090602 Use this code for further enquiry and online searching

(b) Hatiya: It is also an Island located at the downstream of the estuary and subjected to erosion. Salinity ranges from 0-10 ppt. Tidal influence is active. It is also a fishing zone. Sampling depth was 525 m. Geographical location is at 22˚2 . 59'N and 91˚ . 13 E. (c) Bhola: The station is located at the center of the estuarine system. Continuous erosion is also occurring here. Tidal influence can not bring any change in salinity, remains near about at ppt. sampling depth was 5-23m. Geographical location is at 22˚3 .153 N and 9 ˚ .5 2 E. (d) Barisal: Near the Barisal city, located at the upstream of the estuary. A big steamer ghat occupies the sampling station. Tidal influence is not dominant resulted in ppt salinit almost all the seasons. Sampling depth was -5 m. Geographical location is at 22˚ 1.962 N and 9 ˚22.52 E. (e) Chandpur: It is located near Chandpur town, joining place of the three mighty rivers and opening place of the Meghna estuary. Having a steamer ghat, it is a big fish landing center. Salinit remains at ppt in all seasons as this is no tidal influence. Geographical location is at 23˚13. 68 N and 9 ˚38.58 E. Sample collection and analysis: Samples were collected from a passenger ship of BIWTA using a Peterson Grab having a mouth opening of 0.024 m2 during May, 2002 (Premonsoon), September, 2002 (Monsoon) and February, 2003 (Postmonsoon) representing different seasons of the year. Two replicates were collected from each station. On board the ship, the collected samples were washed through a 0.5 mm mesh hand sieve with filtered water at collection point to separate animals from the sediment. The materials retained on the sieve were taken in plastic vials and labeled, to which 70% alcohol were added for killing and fixing the organism. Then the vials were taken to the Institute of Marine Science laboratory for further analysis. In the laboratory, some Rose Bengal was added to the vials. For sorting, the materials were poured into a round transparent glass dish (dia 15 cm and depth 2 cm), placed on a white paper background for easy contrast of vision. Samples were sorted out according to their type or varieties using small brush and forceps and transferred into coded small transparent plastic vials. Magnifying glass and Microscope were used when needed. Then the organisms were preserved in 75% ethyl alcohol for identification and future record. Identification was made following the works of Pratt (1935), Gosner (1971), Sterrer (1986), Ahmed (1990), Alam (1993), Belaluzzaman (1995), Rao et al. (1995) and Misra (1995). RESULTS and DISCUSSION Seasonal and spatial distribution of macrozoobenthos was studied in May, 2002 (Premonsoon), September, 2002 (Monsoon) and February, 2003 (Postmonsoon) in Meghna river estuarine bed. The faunal composition and density of macrozoobenthos (Ind. /m 2) was recorded from five stations viz. Swandwip, Hatiya, Bhola, Barisal and Chandpur. Among the 5 stations, maximum population density (9410 Ind. / m2) was observed during postmonsoon at Chandpur and minimum (96 Ind. / m 2) was noticed at Hatiya during monsoon. During pre and postmonsoon periods, a gradual increase in population density at all stations was observed (Fig 1). Population density at all stations


Title code: IJSAT/ 090602 Use this code for further enquiry and online searching
Premonsoon 10000 8000 Monsoon Postmonsoon


6000 4000 2000 0 Sw andw ip Hatiya Bhola Stations Fig. 1: Total macrozoobenthos during three seasons at different stations. Barishal Chandpur

during monsoon was low except at Barisal. Unusually high abundance of Oligochaetes at Barisal and Chandpur resulted in high population density of macrozoobenthos through out the period of the observation. Considering the overall faunal composition in the 5 stations together, oligochaetes were the most dominant group which constituted 53.73% followed by polychaetes (33.30%) mesogastropods (4.94%), nematodes (2.2%) and amphipods (1.76%). Other groups present in small numbers (<1%) were ciliophora, copepods, ostracods, branchiopods, mysids, crab megalopa, isopods, cladocera, insects and bivalvia constituting 4% of total population. Polychaetes and crustaceans were common in all stations (Table 1). Oligochaetes: Presence of Oligochaetes was the highest (12701 Ind. /m2) among macrozoobenthos (Table 2). They were limited to fresh water zone like Chandpur, Barisal and Bhola. Maximum value (6,750 Ind. /m2) was found in postmonsoon and minimum (93 Ind. /m2) in monsoon at Chandpur. Polychaetes: Polychaetes were common at all stations and occupied second position as regards abundance of total macrozoobenthos. The maximum value (1805 Ind. /m 2) was recorded at Barisal during postmonsoon and the minimum value (24 Ind. /m2) was at Hatiya during monsoon (Table 2). Table 1. Taxonomic groups, their percentage and rank of abundance in the study area during the sampling period.
SL. No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Taxonoic Groups Ciliopora Polychaetea Oligochaeta Nematoda Cyclopoid Copepoda Calanoid Copepoda Harpecticoid Copepoda Amphipoda Ostracoda Branchiopoda Mysidacea Crab Cladocera Isopoda Coleoptera Hymenoptera Hemiptera Diptera Ind./m2 20 7871 12701 519 57 176 9 416 23 52 16 72 21 52 68 32 38 135 % of total number 0.085 33.30 53.73 2.20 0.24 0.74 0.04 1.76 0.10 0.23 0.07 0.30 0.09 0.22 0.29 0.14 0.17 0.58 Rank of abundance 17 2 1 4 11 7 19 5 15 12 18 9 16 12 10 14 13 8


Title code: IJSAT/ 090602 Use this code for further enquiry and online searching 19 20 Bivalvia Mesogastropoda Total 191 1168 23637 0.81 4.95 6 3

Mesogastropods: They constituted about 5% of total macrozoobenthos and ranked third in abundance (Table 1). Mesogastropods had its highest density (416 Ind. /m2) in post monsoon at Chandpur and lowest (24 Ind. /m2) at Hatiya during monsoon. They were not recorded at Swandwip during the period of study (Table 2). Nematodes: Nematodes constituted 2.2% of total macrzoobenthos (Table 1). This group was not common at all the stations, only found at Barishal, Chandpur and Swandwip. Maximum density (346 Ind. /m2) was found at Chandpur during postmonsoon and minimum (19 Ind. /m2) at Swandwip during monsoon (Table 2). Amphipods: Amphipods ranked 5th and contributed 1.76% of total macrozoobenthos. This group was common at all stations except Hatiya. Maximum value (139 Ind. /m2) was found at Bhola during monsoon and the minimum (17 Ind. /m2) at the same station during postmonsoon. Amphipods were not found during monsoon at all stations except at Swandwip (Table 2). Bivalvia: Bivalvia were common at all stations except Swandwip. Maximum value (63 Ind. /m2) was recorded from Chandpur during postmonsoon and minimum (8 Ind. /m 2) from Hatiya. Bivalves occurred at Chandpur and Barisal during postmonsoon but at Hatiya and Bhola it was observed during monsoon (Table 2). Copepods: Copepod is composed of Calanoid, Cyclopoid and Harpecticoid subgroups. These subgroups contributed about 1.02 % of total macrozoobenthos (Table 1). Of these subgroups calanoid and copepods were higher. Harpecticoid copepod was only found at Swandwip during monsoon. Table 2. Seasonal variation of macrobenthos (Ind. / m 2) at five stations.
Station Swandwip Groups Polychates Nematodes Harpecticoid Copepods Cyclopoid Copepods Diptera Hemiptera Amphipods Polychates Oligochaetes Calanoid Copepods Ispods Mysidacea Branchiopods Diptera Coleoptera Mesogastrpods Bivalves Polychates Oligochaetes Calanoid Copepods Cyclopod Copepods Amphipods Diptera Mesogastropods Bivalves Polychates Premosoon 151 76 38 76 208 52 52 156 375 333 42 42 42 250 1026 Monsoon 57 19 9 10 38 24 16 8 16 24 8 69 139 35 444 Post monsoon 654 44 30 15 520 573 104 52 241 190 17 17 34 1805 Total 862 63 30 15 76 38 114 752 573 104 52 16 52 68 180 8 685 523 42 42 198 17 284 3275

Ba ris al




Title code: IJSAT/ 090602 Use this code for further enquiry and online searching Oligochaetes Nematods Crab Amphipods Insect larvae Hymenoptera Mesogastropods Bivalves Ciliophora Polychates Oligochaetes Nematods Zoea Cladocera Ostracodes Amphipods Insect larvae Diptera Mesogastropods Bivalves 160 64 96 32 509 93 23 23 23 46 3333 27 139 20 119 238 139 1031 60 60 79 39 1667 6750 346 21 21 21 63 42 416 63 4524 87 64 60 96 32 218 39 20 2295 7081 369 21 21 41 63 42 555 109

Insects: Diptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Hemiptera were observed in the insect community. Diptera insects were highest (0.57% of total macrozoobenthos) in number (Table 1). Occasionally other invertebrate groups like Ostracods, Branchipods, Mysids, Crabs, Isopods, Cladocera constituted the macrozoobenthos of the Meghna estuary. They occurred below 0.96% of the total sample (Table 1). Macrozoobenthos of the present investigation composed of Ciliophora, Nematoda, Polychaeta, Oligochaeta, Amphipoda, Copepoda, Branchiopoda, Ostracoda, Isopoda, Mysidacea, Insecta Gastropoda and Bivalvia. More or less similar groups were observed by Sharif (2002) in Meghna river estuary except Ciliophora, Ostracoda and Mysidacea. Although Copepods are plankton they were observed in the sediment of Meghna river estuary. Devi et al. (1996) also reported copepods as macrobenthos from southwest cost of India. Percent contribution of individual faunal groups to the total annual benthic form was Oligochaetes (53.73%), Polychaetes (33.30%), Amphipods (1.76%), and Mesogastropods (4.94%), which have more or less similarity with the findings of Ansari et al. (1986), Harakantra and Parulekar (1986), Jegadeesan and Ayyakkanun (1992) and Kumar (1997). But they all showed polychacetes constituted the highest percentage and oligochaetes were absent. In the present investigation, only at two stations, highest incidence of oligochaetes in Barishal and Chandpur made it to be first in abundance among macrozoobenthos. Alam (1993) reported that density of macrobenthic fauna varied from 40-4960 Ind. /m2. Belaluzzaman (1995) showed the density of vary from 80-1226304 Ind. /m2 in sandy beach and in the muddy shore it was 29992-57568 Ind. /m2. Nandi and Chowdhury (1983) found the mean density 125 Ind. /m2 ranging from 68-329 Ind. /m2 from Sagar Island, Sundarbans, West Bengal. Jagadeesan and Ayyakkanun (1992) reported that the population density fluctuated between 688-2788 Ind./m2 in the marine zone of Coleroon estuary. Parulekar and Ansari (1981) showed macrofaunal distribution of vary from 266 to 410 Ind. /m2 in Carolline sandy areas. Devi et al. (1996) found the population density ind/m2 was varied between 20 and 936000 in the South West coast of India. McIntyre (1968) reported macrobenthic fauna varied from 128-368 Ind. /m2 with the mean of 208 Ind/m2 from Porto Novo, India. Ansari (1984) reported 494-2259 Ind. /m2 with the mean of 1129 Ind. /m2 from Seagrass bed, Lakshadweep, India. In the present investigation the density varied from 112 to 9410 Ind. /m 2. Seasonal variation of Macrozoobenthos in the study area was significant. Maximum population density was observed during postmonsoon and minimum during monsoon. Similar results were found by Ansari et al. (1982) from Vellar estuary, Nanden and Azis (1996) from Southwest coast of India, Devi et al. 5


Title code: IJSAT/ 090602 Use this code for further enquiry and online searching

(1996) from South-west Coast of India, Devi, and Venugopal (1989) from Cochin back waters, Harkantra and Parulekar (1986) from South-west coast of India. Most of the investigator opined that low density during monsoon was due to the monsoon rain. Ansari et al. (1986), Nandan and Azis (1996) and almost all investigators showed that the density and diversity was higher towards the mouth of the estuary and lower to the upstream. In the present investigation it was reverse. At the upstream zone, Barishal and Chandpur, both density and diversity was comparatively higher than those of down stream stations, Bhola, Hatiya and Swandwip. The possible reason might be the unstable environment due to the breakdown of the three islands and increased depth also. It is established that benthos is rich in the stable environment and increasing depth reduces their abundance. An interesting finding was observed in oligochaete distribution. They were always confined to upstream zones remaining completely absent from the mouth (Swandwip) of the estuary, which proves that oligochaetes are freshwater inhabiting organisms. REFERENCES
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Title code: IJSAT/ 090602 Use this code for further enquiry and online searching Nandi, S. and A. Chowdhury, 1983. Quantitative studies on the benthic macrofauna of Sagar Island, intertidal zones, Sunderbans,India. Mahhasagar-Bull, Nat, INAT. Oceanogr. 16(3): 409-414. Parulekar, A. H. and Z. A. Ansari, 1981. Benthic macrofauna of the Andaman Sea. Indian J. Mar. Sci. 10:280-284. Pratt, H. S. 1935. A manual of the common invertebrate animals, McGraw Hillbook Company, Inc., p.854 . Rao, G. C. and A. Misra, 1988. The meiofauna and macrofauna of Digha beach, West Bengal, India. Rec. Zool. Sury.India. 83(3/4):31-49. Rao, S. N. B., A. Dey, and S. Barua, 1995. Molluscs, Estuarine ecosystem series Parts 2, Hoogly Malta estuary: ZSI, India, p. 41-91. Sharif, A. S. M. 2002. A comparative study on Plankton and benthos of the Meghna River-estuary during monsoon and postmonsoon. M. Sc. Thesis, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh. P.125. Sterrer, W. 1986. Marine Fauna and Flora of Bermuda- A systematic Guide to the Identification of Marine Organisms. John wiley and Sons. p.742 .


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