Coexistence and succession of copepod species in the Mandovi and Zuari estuaries, Goa

S.C. Goswami


Observations were made on the copepod species association and succession at six stations in the Mandovi-Zuari estuarine system of Goa, India. A total of 55 species belonging to 25 genera and 18 families were encountered in the surface collections. Estuarine and estuarine marine forms constituted the bulk of copepod population. The neritic species were only stragglers in this environment. Some of the species of the same or of different families showed complete coexistence while others were negatively correlated or associated either over space or time. The pattern of copepod succession based on species dominance revealed three main types with successional sequence of high saline species (greater than 30 ppt), low saline species (greater than 5 ppt) and species preferring medium salinity (6-30 ppt). The highest and lowest species diversity was seen during the premonsoon and monsoon periods respectively. The proliferation and succession of copepod species commences in the postmonsoon season when some of the coastal forms intrude into the estuaries with decrease in monsoonal influx and consequent increase in salinity


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