This research article reports an exhaustive account on the mangrove-associated polychaetes. Polychaetes are an important component in marine benthic communities and they play a major ecological role in mangrove ecosystem. This article gives an overview of polychaete diversity associated to five major mangrove forests of east coast of India (Muthupettai, Pichavaram, Coringa, Bhitarkanika and Sundarban). The results of this survey indicated that the physicochemical parameters did not vary much except a few parameters that showed only marginal variations. With regard to the macrobenthic organisms, the polychaetes topped the list. Crustaceans were found to be the next dominant group in the order of abundance and followed by gastropods and bivalves of the total benthic organisms collected. The results of the statistical analysis revealed that the parameters such as salinity, pH, silt, clay, total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphate (TP) were manifested as best match in determining benthic fauna distributions followed by TOC, slit, clay and TP. The maximum number of polychaete species was recorded from Sundarban mangroves (68 species) and minimum in Muthupettai mangroves (39 species).
Part of the book: Mangrove Ecosystem Ecology and Function