Crustose coralline algae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) diversity in the Gulf of Mannar marine national park, Southern India
Rhodoliths are the prominent global reef builders, providing a hard calcium carbonate substrate to develop coral polyps and several marine algae. Studies on rhodoliths in the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve are very scarce. The present study investigated the various forms of crustose coralline algae inhabiting coral reefs in three islands of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve. Eleven coralline algal genera with various morphological forms such as encrusting, fruticose, layered, lumpy, and warty were recorded. Further, the study infers that molecular assessment of the biodiversity of these rhodoliths is required to discriminate morphological similarities and confirm the species identity
Calcified red algae, Coral reef habitats, Corals, Distribution, Mandapam region
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