MONTHLY VARIATIONS IN CRUSTACEAN ZOOPLANKTON ABUNDANCES IN SUNDARAPANDIAN PATTINAM AND MANAMELKUDI IN THE PALK STRAIT, INDIA (9-10 degrees N, ARABIAN SEA)
- The present investigation has been made to study the distribution of crustacean zooplankton, and its qualitative and quantitative composition, as well as for making an assessment of species abundances and of the evenness of zooplankton in two habitats along the Palk Strait, between the east coast of Tamil Nadu (India) and Sri Lanka. The sampling programme was executed from July 2005 to June 2006. The two sampling sites, Sundarapandian Pattinam (Station I) and Manamelkudi (Station II), respectively, are located in one of the most productive marine zones of the world. The various groups of crustacean zooplankton were Ostracoda, Copepoda, Amphipoda, Isopoda, Cumacea, Euphausiacea, and Decapoda. Maximum occurrences were observed during the summer and the pre-monsoon seasons, and minimum occurrences were observed during the monsoon months. The present study showed that the distribution pattern of total zooplankton fluctuated at both stations. Station II is richer in absolute abundance in comparison with Station I.