Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 175–194 | Cite as

Characterization of benthic habitat settings in a lagoonal ecosystem using free-living nematodes as proxy

  • Kapuli Gani Mohamed Thameemul Ansari
  • Ajit Kumar Pattnaik
  • Gurdeep Rastogi
  • Punyasloke BhaduryEmail author
Original Paper


Free-living nematodes are sensitive to most of the disturbances and therefore have ability to reflect direct structural and functional changes in an ecosystem. We studied nematode assemblages of Chilika Lagoon, the largest lagoon of Asia, across spatio-temporal scales in link with environmental variables and evaluated nematode assemblages as a proxy to characterize lagoonal benthic habitat settings. Our results revealed that nematode communities showed significant variation spatially and temporally in terms of mean density (16–854/10 cm2) and mean number of species (7–74). Salinity is the key factor that controls nematode community structure across this lagoon and was strongly supported by statistical analyses. The observed nematode assemblages were further used as a proxy to assign benthic habitats of Chilika into distinct biological, topographical and hydrological settings. This study showed that nematode assemblages could be effectively used for long term ecological monitoring of dynamic sedimentary environment of lagoons globally.


Nematodes Assemblages Ecosystem Environmental variables Habitat settings Lagoon 



This work is supported by a grant awarded to Punyasloke Bhadury by Chilika Development Authority (CDA) through the financial support received from the World Bank supported Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) of Odisha. We are also grateful to Integrative Taxonomy and Microbial Ecology Research Group members for helping us during field work.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 3568 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (TIFF 1136 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kapuli Gani Mohamed Thameemul Ansari
    • 1
  • Ajit Kumar Pattnaik
    • 2
  • Gurdeep Rastogi
    • 3
  • Punyasloke Bhadury
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Integrative Taxonomy and Microbial Ecology Research Group, Department of Biological SciencesIndian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata (IISERK)NadiaIndia
  2. 2.Integrated Coastal Zone Management ProjectBhubaneswarIndia
  3. 3.Wetland Research and Training CentreChilika Development AuthorityBalugaonIndia

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