Research Article

Seaweed Species Diversity with Relation to Hydrological Parameters from Veraval and Sikka Coast, Gujarat, India

Shivani Pathak, A. J. Bhatt, U.G. Vandarwala, Vyas U. D. and Priyanka Gautam

  • Page No:  567 - 577
  • Published online: 07 Jan 2021
  • DOI : HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.23910/1.2020.2152d

  • Abstract

The aim of the present investigation focused on a different group of seaweeds observed from Veraval and Sikka coast, Gujarat from September 2019 to February 2020, to understand their seaweeds diversity with subsequent analysis of relevant hydrological parameters. Seaweed diversity at Veraval and Sikka coasts has been studied for six months the using belt transect method. Some of the seaweeds are present throughout the year but most of the seaweeds are found at a specific climate. During the present study, the seawater temperature was ranging from 26.80 to 33˚C. The pattern of pH variation was similar in both areas but values varied considerably ranging from 7.7 to 8.32. Salinity was ranging from 32.4 to 35.67 ppt. The dissolved oxygen concentration varies from 5.64 to 7.55 ppm. In this study, the correlation between seaweed diversity and the hydrological parameters was investigated. A significantly negative correlation was recorded between seaweed diversity and Temperature. The hydrological parameters differ with seasonal periods, geographical location, and spatial and temporal variation at selected sites. Temperature is an important factor that was observed to play an important role in controlling seaweed diversity in the present study. The comparative study at Veraval and Sikka coasts gives an idea about the hydrological parameters that determine the water suitability for seaweed population and how it will affect seasonally available seaweed resources.

Keywords :   Seaweed diversity, hydrological parameters, correlation, temperature

  • Introduction

    India is one of the developing countries with rich biodiversity in the world. Indian seaweeds comprise mostly of tropical species, but temperate and subtropical elements have also been reported (Anonymous, 2005). Many of the rocky beaches, mudflats, estuaries, coral reefs, and lagoons along the Indian coast provide ideal habitats for the growth of seaweeds (Rao and Vaibhav, 2006). The latest diversity of Indian seaweed consisted of 1153 species from 271 genera (Karthik et al., 2013). There is a luxuriant growth of seaweeds along with the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat coast, Lakshadweep Island, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Fairly rich seaweed beds are present in the vicinity of Bombay, Ratnagiri, Goa, Karwar, Varkala, Kovalam, Vizhinjam, Visakhapatnam, and few other places namely Chilka and Pulicat lakes (Chennubhotla et al., 1987). Thecurrent seaweed status of India showed 844 species distributed among 217 genera. The most abundant among them were Rhodophyta (434 species), followed by Chlorophyta (216 spp.), Phaeophyta (191 spp.), and Xanthophyta (3 spp.) (Venkatraman and Wafar, 2005).

    Seaweeds are generally known as multicellular benthic marine macroalgae that possessing chlorophyll and capable ofphotosynthesis. Seaweeds can reproduce sexually as well as asexually. Seaweeds are found in the coastal region between high tide to low tide i.e. intertidal region and in the sub-tidal region up to a depth where photosynthetic light is available. They constitute one of the important living resources found mostly on a mudflat and rocky coastal wetlands, coral reefs and lagoons, estuaries, attached to the bottom on solid substrates such as rocks in the intertidal zones, washed up on beaches floating on the oceanic surface, and also in giant underwater forests, dead corals, pebbles, shells and plants (Sahayaraj et al., 2014). Seaweeds are important in human food, health, and economic wellbeing. They are a fascinating and diverse group of organisms inhabiting the oceans.

    Seaweeds are nutritionally valuable as in fresh or dried form or as ingredients in a variety of prepared food (Robledo and Freile-Pelegrin, 1997). There were many studies noted that certain seaweed which is edible contains significant quantities of essential protein, lipids, fiber contents minerals, and vitamins (Wong and Cheung, 2000; Norziah and Ching, 2002; Sanchez-Machado et al., 2002). The nutrient contents vary with species, geographical location, season, and temperature of the region (Daweset al., 1993; Kaehler and Kennish, 1996).

    The large demand for seaweeds for industrial products like agar-agar (china grass), algin, mannitol, and carrageenan which were consumed as food (Ramalingam et al., 2000). These industrial products are used as gelling, stabilizing, and thickening agents in food, pharmaceutical, confectionery, dairy, textiles, paper, paint, varnish industries, etc. (Kolanjinathan et al., 2014). Red seaweeds are extracted commercially valuable substances like agar-agar, Agarose, and Carrageenan. On a commercial basis, brown seaweeds are extracted such as alginic acid, mannitol, laminarian, fucoidan, and iodine.

    The comparative study at two different locations gives an idea about the availability of seaweed resource diversity variation from both the sites, whereas the hydrological parameters determine the water suitability for seaweed population and how it will affect seasonally available seaweed resources. Seaweeds are mostly affected by various environmental factors include ambient temperature, amount of sunlight, and pH of the water, etc. and floristic variations of seaweed communities are controlled by several environmental factors including season, habitat, topography, duration of exposure, tidal amplitude, and other biotic factors. Seaweeds are very important organisms for studying seaweed diversity and the hydrological parameters also determine the distribution and occurrence of particular seaweeds at a particular place at a particular season. Hence the study of the hydrological characters of the marine ecosystem is also very important.

    Therefore the present study was conducted to define the seaweed diversity at two different location areas of the Saurashtra region of Veraval and Sikka coast of Gujarat along with concerning relevant hydrological parameters such as surface water temperature, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen (DO).

  • Materials and Methods

    2.1.  Study area

    The present study was conducted at two places of the Western coast of Gujarat, India i.e. Veraval and Sikka coasts (20°54’34”N latitude 70°21’08” Elongitudes) & (22°27’31”N latitude 69°48’17”E longitudes). The intertidal zone of Veraval coast is an inlet of the Arabian Sea in the state of Gujarat. Behind the lighthouse studied area has been selected. The Sikka coast is situated at the coast of Marine National Park, Jamnagar, and the mouth of the Gulf of Kutchh on the north-westernmost part of Saurashtra in Gujarat. At Sikka coast, particularly Gujarat State Fertilizer Company’s Jetty (GSFC Jetty) studied area has been selected (Figure 1).

    2.2.  Sampling period

    The study will be conducted for six months and it will be initiated from September-2019 and it will continue up to February-2020.

    2.3.  Sampling method       

    The belts transect random sampling method was used for the quantitative assessment of seaweeds in the selected sites.Six surveys per month were carried out at both the sampling stations for recording the algal species. Three transact were set for the diversity survey every month. Each transect had consisted of 10 quadrate of 1 m-2. All the species of seaweeds present within the quadrant were uprooted completely along with the holdfast. The species diversity which was available along the selected study locations were collected and at the laboratory identified by using standard references material (Kamboj et al., 2019).

    2.4.  Analysis of  hydrological parameters of  seawater

    Data on the Hydrological factors such as temperature, pH, and salinity level will be recorded at the time of sample collection. Surface seawater temperatures were measured on the spot by precision mercury thermometer (Trivedy et al., 1987). Salinity was measured by using the standard refractometer (Trivedy et al., 1987). The pH of the seawater was measured by using a pH meter (Anonymous, 2006).  DO was measured by using the Winkler method (Anonymous, 2006).

    2.5.  Data analysis

    Data will be interpreted by using standard methods. The correlation analysis was done between seaweed diversity and recorded Hydrological parameters by using correlation formulae from MS-excel.

  • Results and Discussion

    3.1.  Seaweed diversity

    At Veraval and Sikka coasts, first thoroughly surveyed to get an idea of the coastal characteristics like climatic condition and to make a qualitative assessment of the seaweed flora inhabiting there, throughout the study period. A checklist of the different seaweed species recorded during the period of investigation is presented in Table 1 and 2 classwise. From this table, it is clear that a total of 39 and 41 seaweed species were observed throughout the study period at Veraval and Sikka coasts.

    A total of 50 species of seaweeds were recorded in the present study, of which 17 species belong to Chlorophyceae, 14 species belong to Phaeophyceae, and 19 species belong to Rhodophyceae. Thus Rhodophyceae group was more preponderance in the seaweed flora at both the coasts. Joshi and Murthy (2004) and Jha et al. (2009) also observed more number of Rhodophyceae compared to Phaeophyceae of the Chlorophyceae.

    At the Sikka coast, the maximum number of seaweed species occurred during January 2020 and February 2020 with as many as 36 species, and a minimum of 13 was registered in October 2019 in Table 2. During the diversity survey, it is hypothesized that in general Green algae and Brown algae are observed during the initial months of the survey i.e. September to January while the majority of Red algae are found from January to February months.

    Results of the present study are satisfied with earlier reports of Thakur et al. (2008) along Port Okha, northwest coast of India, Chakraborty and Bhattacharya (2012) from Sikka and Vadinar, Gulf of Kutchh, India, and Domettila et al. (2013) along Muttom coastal waters of the southwest coast of India. A similar observation was recorded in the present investigation also. Ishakani et al. (2016) from the Veraval coast reported a total of 67 species comprises of 21 species of Chlorophyta, 14 species of Phaeophyta, and 32 species of Rhodophyta species which revealed that the results of the present study are much similar to earlierresearchers (Figure 2).

    3.2.  Analysis of  hydrological parameters studied at veraval and sikka coasts

    During the present investigation,the variation in seaweed diversity is associated with several environmental factors such as water temperature, pH, salinity, and dissolved oxygen were studied at both sites Veraval and Sikka coastal region, Gujarat every month.

    3.2.1.  Seawater temperature (˚C)

    Temperature variation is one of the most important parameters in the coastal ecosystems, which influencing the hydrological characteristics of seawater and also influence the distribution and abundance of flora and fauna (Soundarapandian et al., 2009) and (Sundaramanickam et al., 2008). During the present study, the seawater temperature was ranging from 26.80 to 33˚C in Table 3.  During the study, the highest temperature (33˚C) wasrecorded in September month whereas the lowest temperature (26.80˚C) during January. The seasonal fluctuations in the water temperature were typical of this site.The mean temperature was 29.57±2.40 at the Sikka site and 29.48±2.04 at the Veraval site. The results of the correlation coefficient showed a relationship between seaweed diversity in Table 4. In the case of the Veraval coast significant negative correlation with diversity. At Sikka, similar results were observed like that of Veraval.

    Studies along the Veraval coast by Raghunathan et al. (2003), reported that water temperature, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen was varied between 26.50-26.80˚C, 34.40-34.60 ppt, 8.32–8.34 and 4.11–4.96 ml l-1, respectively during October1998, while during June 1999 these parameters ranged between 26.50–27.00˚C, 34.60 ppt. (Max.), 8.33 (Max.) and 4.36 – 5.01 ml l-1, respectively. A similar result was shown by Vaghela et al. (2010) at Sikka and Vadinar coast of Gujarat. Also, Vase et al. (2018) reported along the Veraval coast, who recorded maximum temperature during summer and lowest during winter.

    3.2.2.  Potential of hydrogen ions (pH)

    The pH fluctuations are caused due to different factors like removal of CO2 by photosynthesis, respiration, bicarbonate degradation, increased metabolic activities of autotrophs, decomposition of organic matter, precipitation, and wastewater or mining discharges, etc. (Pandit and Fulekar, 2017; Joshi et al., 2018). During the present investigation, the pattern of pH variation was similar in both areas but values varied considerably ranging from 7.7 to 8.32. Maximum pH value 8.32 during September at the Sikka site and minimum value 7.7 during December and October at Sikka and Veraval site. The present study recorded that shows a negative correlation between pH and seaweed diversity at the Sikka site in Table 4 whereas a positive correlation at the Veraval site in Table 4. According to Joshi et al. (2018), minimum pH 7.58 during April and the highest 8.38 during September was recorded at Poshitra and Narara coast of the Gulf of Kutchh. Temkar et al. (2014) minimum pH value 7.87 during April and range between 7.87 to 8.28 along the Veraval coast which is similar to the present investigation also. Therefore the present study was similar to the results of earlier researchers as comparable pH value recorded at Sikka and Veraval sites.

    3.2.3.  Salinity (ppt)

    The seasonal variation in salinity is caused due to precipitation of rain and snow and evaporation of seawater, which is most likely to influence the faunal distribution in the intertidal zone (Kumar and Khan, 2013). During the study, salinity was ranging from 32.4 to 35.67 ppt. The minimum salinity 32.4 ppt was recorded during September month whereas the maximum salinity 35.67 ppt values were reported in December months in Table 3. The recorded average mean salinity values were 34.35±1.23 at the Sikka site and 34.64±0.81 at the Veraval site. Salinity had a significant positive correlation with diversity at Veraval and Sikka coast in Table 4. Temkaret al. (2014) reported seawater salinity varied between 34.75 ppt to 35.67 ppt along the Veraval coast which is similar to the present study. According to Joshi et al. (2018) minimum salinity, 31.15 ppt during August, and the highest, 38.08 ppt during May were recorded at Poshitra and Narara coast of the Gulf of Kutchh. The present study was similar to the results of earlier researchers as comparable salinity value recorded at Sikka and Veraval sites.

    3.2.4.  Dissolved oxygen (ppm)

    Dissolved oxygen refers to the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water and important characteristics to support a well-balanced aquatic life (Weiss, 1970; Parmar and Mankodi, 2017). The major sources controlling dissolved oxygen concentration in seawater are photosynthesis producing oxygen and diffusion of oxygen from the atmosphere (Parmar and Mankodi, 2017; Best et al., 2007). During the study period, the dissolved oxygen concentration varies from 5.64 to 7.55 mgl-1 in Table 3. The mean DO value was recorded 6.65±0.79, 6.58±0.79 at Sikka, and Veraval site. The observed DO was above 5 mg l-1 which is also reported earlier in the Arabian Sea (Vase et al., 2018) and According to Joshi et al. (2018) recorded the total dissolved oxygen fluctuated rate of 5.48 to 7.45 mg l-1 with a maximum DO value  of 7.45 mg l-1 recorded during August at Poshitra and Narara coast of the Gulf of Kutchh.

    The results of the correlation coefficient are a significant positive correlation at Veraval and Sikka coast in Table 4. Therefore, it can be said that dissolved oxygen of the waters is not a critical factor for controlling seaweed diversity.

  • Conclusion

    Besides providing a complete picture of the seaweed flora Veraval and Sikka coast region will also help us in the farming of economically important seaweeds, by providing information on the ideal conditions of seaweed growth and also gives an idea about the availability of seaweed resources diversity and hydrological parameters for future necessities. The temperature is an important factor that was observed to play an important role in controlling seaweed diversity in the present study.

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Pathak S, Bhatt AJ, V U, arwala , D VU, Gautam P. Seaweed Species Diversity with Relation to Hydrological Parameters from Veraval and Sikka Coast, Gujarat, India IJBSM [Internet]. 07Jan.2021[cited 8Feb.2022];11(1):567-577. Available from:

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