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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2006, Vol 6, Num, 2     (Pages: 129-136)

Seasonal Abundance of Benthic Communities in Coral Areas of Karah Island, Terengganu, Malaysia

Sakri Ibrahim 1 ,Wan Mohd Rauhan Wan Hussin 1 ,Zaleha Kassim 1 ,Zuliatini Mohamad Joni 1 ,Mohamad Zaidi Zakaria 1 ,Sukree Hajisamae 2

1 Faculty of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Kolej Universiti Sains dan Teknologi Malaysia, Mengabang, Telipot, 21030, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
2 Prince of Songkla University, 94000 Pattani, Thailand
Viewed : 4153 - Downloaded : 8639 Benthic communities are important to marine ecosystem and form important food source for most marine organisms especially fish. Study of this biota is important as it could be an indicator to overall aquatic productivity. Benthic communities in Karah Island, Terengganu, Malaysia were studied to find their relationship with different monsoon seasons and types of substrate. Surveys were conducted 4 times; two times each during pre-monsoon phase (September - October) and post-monsoon phase (April - May). Samples of benthic fauna in coral and non-coral areas were taken using a hand corer and Smith McIntyre grab respectively. In-situ measurements were done to obtain physico-chemical parameters of salinity, temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen. The results show that both macrobenthos and meiobenthos were more dominant during pre-monsoon season (25,836.8 inds.m-2 and 137,496.8 inds.m-2, respectively) as compared to post-monsoon season (21,573.1 inds.m-2 and 100,404.6 inds.m-2, respectively). In terms of family, Polychaeta was the most abundant macrobenthos (26,300.2 inds.m-2 or 55.5%) while Harpacticoida was the most abundant meiobenthos (97,910.1 inds.m-2 or 41.2%) during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. Benthic fauna were found in higher amounts in coral areas and decreases with distance from shoreline. Keywords : Benthic fauna, coral areas, monsoon seasons, South China Sea