Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 1013–1026 | Cite as

Macrobenthic fauna with special reference to the ecology and population structure of a tubicolous amphipod, Chelicorophium madrasensis (Nayar, 1950) in a tropical estuary, southwest coast of India

  • T. V. RehithaEmail author
  • N. V. Madhu
  • G. Vineetha
  • P. V. Vipindas
  • K. R. Lallu
Original Paper


The ecology and population structure of the corophid amphipod Chelicorophium madrasensis (Nayar, 1950) was studied for 1 year in the Cochin estuary (CE), a tropical monsoonal estuary along the southwest coast of India. The incidence of Chelicorophium madrasensis in CE was a new distributional record from the south-west coast of India. Among the macrobenthic population, this species contributed in substantially higher density (> 90%) and biomass at the sampling location. This species showed a statistically significant positive correlation with salinity, benthic chlorophyll a, and fine sediment texture (clay and silt). The species also exhibited a significant seasonality in population dynamics, with a marked decline during the southwest monsoon which is characterized by remarkable decline in salinity and substantial changes in the substratum stability. The sex ratio was skewed towards dominance of females throughout the year. Though C. madrasensis is a continuous breeder, its peak breeding in the CE coincided with the pre-monsoon, which is characterized by mesohaline salinity and availability of surplus food. The study also showed that the high density of C. madrasensis in turn supported the sustenance of two carnivorous isopods. This study points to the fact that a strong and intricate abiotic-biotic interaction between the flora, fauna, and physical environment contributed to higher standing crop of the amphipod C. madrasensis at the study site.


C. madrasensis Environmental variables Cochin estuary Macrobenthic fauna Seasonal variation 



The authors are grateful to the Director, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa and Scientist-in-Charge, Regional Centre, CSIR-NIO, Kochi, for the facilities provided. They are also grateful to Dr. C. Revichandran, Senior Principal Scientist, Regional Centre, CSIR-NIO, Kochi, for the support and encouragement. This is NIO contribution number 6198.


The study was supported by the project SSP-2179 Funded by Cochin Port Trust (CPT), Kochi.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Sampling and field studies

All necessary permits for sampling and observational field studies have been obtained by the authors from the competent authorities and are mentioned in the acknowledgements.

Supplementary material

12526_2018_886_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (99 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 Microphotographs of Distinguishing features of C. madrasensis; Male-(a) Antenna 1, (b) Antenna 2, (c) Gnathopod 1(d) Gnathopod 2; Female (e) Antenna 1&2, (f) Proximal tooth on 2nd Gnathopod (in 60X) (g) four spines the lower edge on the 4th segment of Antennae 2 (in 60X). (JPEG 99 kb)
12526_2018_886_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (173 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 2 Photograph showing the tube formation by C. madrasensis in the sampling locations (JPEG 173 kb)


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. V. Rehitha
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. V. Madhu
    • 1
  • G. Vineetha
    • 2
  • P. V. Vipindas
    • 3
  • K. R. Lallu
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Regional CentreCochinIndia
  2. 2.Central Marine Fisheries Research InstituteCochinIndia
  3. 3.Cochin University of Science and Technology, Lake Side CampusCochinIndia

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