International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology

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MARINE SPONGES AS BIOINDICATOR SPECIES OF ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS AT URAN (NAVI MUMBAI), WEST COAST OF INDIA

In the present study, a survey of marine sponges for biodiversity and distribution was done along three substations; Sheva creek, Peerwadi coast and Dharamtar creek of Uran coast (Raigad), Navi Mumbai, west coast of India. Sponge samples were collected from intertidal regions and shallow coastal waters monthly from June 2013 to May 2015 during spring low tides. A total of 16 species of sponges representing 12 genera, 10 families and 8 orders were identified. Of these, 13 species belongs to class Demospongiae, 2 to Calcarea and 1 to Hexactinellida. Maximum species diversity of sponges is recorded at Peerwadi coast than Sheva creek and Dharamtar creek. Fewer species diversity at Sheva creek and Dharamtar creek is attributed to the close proximity of these sites to human population, non-availability of suitable rocky stretches for settlement and colonization and to maritime activities of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). Sponges from Uran coast are under stress due to discharge of domestic wastes and sewage, effluents from industries, oil tanking depots, maritime activities of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and hectic activities of Container Freight Stations (CFS). This study reveals that marine sponges from Uran coast are facing the threat due to industrial pollution and anthropogenic stress.

Author(s): Prabhakar R Pawar