Seasonal carbonate system vis-a-vis pH and salinity in selected tropical estuaries: implications on polychaete diversity and composition towards predicting ecological health

Highlights

  • The role of salinity-pH gradient coupled with carbonate species on the polychaete community distribution was studied.
  • Salinity-pH was positively correlated with carbonate and DOC.
  • pCO2 was positively correlated with POC, DIC and CO2.
  • High levels of carbonate species and low pH have a greater impact on polychaete diversity and richness.

Abstract

Salinity and pH play a fundamental role in structuring spatial patterns of physical properties, biota, and biogeochemical processes in the estuarine ecosystem. In this study, the influence of salinity-pH gradient and carbonate system on polychaete diversity in Ennore, Uppanar, Vellar, and Kaduvaiyar estuaries was investigated. Water and sediment samples were collected from September 2017 to August 2018. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were employed to define ecological status. Temperature, Salinity, pH, and partial pressure of carbon-di-oxide varied between 21 and 30°C; 29 and 39 ppt; 7.4 and 8.3; and 89.216 and 1702.558 µatm, respectively. PCA and CCA results revealed that DO, chlorophyll, carbonate species, and sediment TOC have a higher influence on polychaete community structure. Forty-two species such as Ancistrosyllis parva, Cossura coasta, Eunice pennata, Euclymene annandalei, Lumbrineris albidentata, Capitella capitata, Prionospio cirrifera, P. pinnata, P. cirrobranchiata, and Notomastus sp. were found dominantly in all estuaries. Shannon index values ranged between 1.619 (UE-1) and 3.376 (VE-2). Based on these findings, high levels of carbonate species and low pH have a greater impact on polychaete diversity and richness values. The results of the AMBI Index revealed that stations UE-1, UE-2, UE-3 in Uppanar, EC-1, EC-2 in Ennore indicate “moderately disturbed”, while other stations are under the “slightly disturbed” category. This trend was quite evident in M-AMBI as well.

Sarathy P. P., Bharathidasan V., Murugesan P., Selvaraj P. & Punniyamoorthy R., in press. Seasonal carbonate system vis-a-vis pH and salinity in selected tropical estuaries: implications on polychaete diversity and composition towards predicting ecological health. Oceanologia. Article.


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