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Distribution, diversity and abundance of coral communities in the coastal waters of Pakistan

  • Amjad Ali (a1), Rupert Ormond (a2), Wera Leujak (a3) and Pirzada Jamal A. Siddiqui (a1)


We assessed the distribution, diversity and abundance of corals in Pakistani waters. A total of 29 hard coral species (eight families and 14 genera), one black coral species and eight soft coral species (three families and seven genera) were recorded from 18 dive sites at nine locations along the coastline. Distribution of hard corals was extremely poor at Mubarak Village and Sandspit, and corals were not found at Goth Abdul Rehman, Gadani (Kuchiani) and Buleji. Moderately rich coral communities were recorded at Churna Island and at more exposed sites around Astola Island. By contrast highly diverse hard coral communities, with up to 80% cover, were found only at the northern sheltered side of Astola Island where Favites complanata, Favites pentagona, Coscinaraea monile and Porites nodifera were the most abundant species. Favites complanata was recorded from most dive sites at Astola Island. Porites nodifera and Pocillopora damicornis, and to a lesser extent Porites harrisoni, Leptastrea pruinosa and Psammocora obtusangulata formed large single species stands. No ‘true’ coral reef was found at any dive site; however, the formation of proto-reefs was evident around Astola Island. Soft corals were dominant at most exposed sites, particularly at Ormara (Roadrigues Shoals) and Jiwani. By comparing diversity with other locations in the region, corals distribution and growth appear to be fairly poor in Pakistan.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: A. Ali, Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270, Pakistan email:


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Distribution, diversity and abundance of coral communities in the coastal waters of Pakistan

  • Amjad Ali (a1), Rupert Ormond (a2), Wera Leujak (a3) and Pirzada Jamal A. Siddiqui (a1)


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