Occurrence of Scleractinian corals from the outer Gulf of Kachchh, West coast of India
Coral reefs of the outer Gulf of Kachchh were surveyed for abundance and occurrences of scleractinian coral. The survey was conducted in the intertidal zone of three selected sites, namely Okha, Mithapur, and Shivrajpur. The maximum live coral cover area percentage was observed at Shivrajpur (72 %) followed by Mithapur (55.5 %) and Okha (45 %). In the present study, 23 species of scleractinian corals belonging to eight different families and 12 genera were recorded. The highest numbers of the scleractinian corals were recorded from the Shivrajpur with 22 species belonging to 12 genera followed by Mithapur with 16 species belonging to ten genera, and Okha 12 species belonging to eight genera. The Poritidae family contributed the highest number of scleractinian coral species assemblage followed by the Faviidae and Merulinidae family at all the stations. Geo-morphology of the coast and anthropogenic pressures are the two factors that seemed to have more impact on the distribution and diversity of scleractinian corals.
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