Seasonal variations in the fouling diatom community structure from a monsoon influenced tropical estuary
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Seasonal variations in the fouling diatom community from a monsoon influenced tropical estuary were investigated. The community composition did not differ significantly between stainless steel and polystyrene substrata due to dominance by Navicula spp. The experimental evidence suggests that Amphora, which is a dominant fouling diatom in temperate waters, ultimately dominates the community in tropical regions when conditions are favourable. These observations reveal that a faster onset of macrofouling interferes with the microfouling community wherein the faster recruiters that have a higher abundance in ambient waters, dominate the community. Seasonal variations were observed in the fouling diatom community. Navicula delicatula dominated during the post-monsoon and tychopelagic diatoms (Melosira and Odontella) were observed during the monsoon. Low diatom abundance was recorded during the pre-monsoon season. The results indicate that although the fouling diatom community composition does not vary between substrata, there is a seasonal change in the community depending on the physical, chemical and biological interactions.
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