Table of Contents
International Journal of Oceanography
Volume 2014, Article ID 284979, 9 pages
Research Article

Ecology of Interstitial Faunal Assemblage from the Beaches along the Coast of Kerala, India

1Department of Zoology, Bharata Mata College, Thrikkakara, Kochi-682021, Kerala, India
2School of Marine Science, CUSAT, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India
3Nansen Environment Research Centre, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India

Received 11 August 2013; Accepted 25 November 2013; Published 23 January 2014

Academic Editor: Swadhin Behera

Copyright © 2014 Geetha Priyalakshmi and N. R. Menon. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A quantitative and qualitative study of interstitial fauna and environmental variables was carried out on five selected sandy beaches of the west coast of India. Species of nine interstitial taxa abound the beaches. Nematodes, harpacticoid copepods, turbellarians, and polychaetes constituted the bulk of the population. The available energy in the beaches ranged from 0.2245 to 16.08 joules/mg and the grain size varied from 0.93 to 2.88 . Organic matter correlated significantly with coarse sand (Pearson correlation ; ). Organic carbon, particle size, and dissolved oxygen determined the abundance and distribution of interstitial fauna as per multivariate BIOENV analysis. Shannon Wiener diversity index was maximum at Cherai (2.027) and minimum at Sakthikulangara (1.144) beach. The value of nematode/copepod ratio ( / ) indicated at Sakthikulangara beach validates the increased sensitivity of harpacticoids to environmental stress.