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Ecological Services of Intertidal Benthic Fauna and the Sustenance of Coastal Wetlands Along the Midnapore (East) Coast, West Bengal, India

  • Susanta Kumar ChakrabortyEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 21)

Abstract

Human existence is entirely dependent on the products and services of biodiversity for food, medicines, shelter, clothing materials, aesthetics etc. Ecological services on the other hand denote the contribution of nature to a variety of “goods and services” to mankind in respect of economics and ecology. Biodiversity being an important component of the mother earth renders valuable ecological services to all the compartments of the environment including coastal zone which is the interface of the land and sea and represents an eco-potential ecosystem along with its different geo-morphological components like estuaries, mangroves, dunes, deltas, lagoons, intertidal zones, etc. The present article focuses on the functional contribution of benthic biodiversity towards sustenance of a short but geo-morphologically diversified intertidal zones of coastal Midnapore (East) District, West Bengal, India which is in continuation of Sundarbans mangrove estuarine complex of India These benthic fauna, both macrobenthos (brachyuran crabs, molluscs, polycaetes, actiniarians etc.) and meiobenthos(nematodes, foraminifera, copepods, polychaetes etc.) render valuable ecological services by making sediments loaded with living organisms by bioturbation, releasing millions of benthic larvae (meroplankton) to the aquatic system as the food of fishes, converting mangrove leaves into detritus,releasing nutrients, ploughing sediments to maintain textural composition, acting as food for demerseal fishes, bioaccumulating pollutants,serving as bioindicator, and providing aesthetics.

Keywords

Midnapore coast Intertidal benthos Ecological services Biodiversity 

Notes

Acknowledgement

The author is really thankful to his research students, namely, Ranjit Khalua, Anupam Chandra, Sunirmal Giri, Gurudas Chakravorty, Mrinal Dey, Subhasish Chatterjee, Diptiman Ghosh, Samaresh Samanta, Tapas Das, Tridip Kumar Datta, Debdas Jana, Siddartha Mishra Sumit Giri and Sudipta Kumar Ghorai with whom he has been working on Midnapore (East) coastal belts for the last two decades which have resulted almost a dozen of Ph.Ds and arround 50 research papers on the biodiversity of this coast. Special thanks are due to Tridip Kumar Datta for his all round help preparing the manuscript of this paper. The laboratory and library facilities provided by the Vidyasagar University is thankfully acknowledged.

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyVidyasagar UniversityMidnaporeIndia

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