An attempt was made to study the benthic biodiversity in Pichavaram mangrove ecosystem, Southeast coast of India. Monthly (duplicate) sampling was done in 3 stations, (Station I - fresh water zone, Station II - core mangrove zone and Station III - marine zone) for a period of one year from January 2008 to December 2008. As many as 22 species of benthic macro fauna were recorded in the study area (16 species of polychaetes, 4 species of crustaceans and 2 species of molluscs). The population density varied between 394 and 23,888 number/m2. The species diversity was ranged from 1.52 to 3.87; species richness was from 1.24 to 4.09 and species evenness from 0.71 to 0.96. The maximum diversity was recorded in Station II and minimum in I. As observed in the conventional indices, the values of taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity were also more in Station II compared to Stations I and III. K- Dominance curve drawn paralleled the trend of diversity indices. Cluster and MDS showed the similarity in faunal composition stations within the zones. Key words: Mangroves, benthos, biodiversity, polychaetes.
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