Paper Title
Community Composition and Abundance of Benthic Macrofauna at Saphanhin Bay, Phuket Thailand

This study was designed to determine the composition, abundance and distribution of benthic macrofauna community from three sites of Saphanhin Bay, Phuket, Thailand. The community structure can provide an accurate understanding of changes in the estuary ecosystem located nearby to Phuket town. Benthic macrofauna composition and density were investigated by core sampler during September 2017 at three stations in the bay. A total of 43families of benthic macrofauna was collected. Polychaetes were the most numerically abundant and diverse group (27 families; 53% of total numbers) followed by gastropods (3 families; 30% of total numbers). The highest macrofauna density was showed in the both sites of the urban-derived canal, on the other hand the community composition was high in the east site of the bay. The West transect closest to the canal outlet was dominated by Gastropods intertidally but Polychaetes further from the shore. The study area was a topographically rather flat mudflat that was completely exposed at low tide. Further, away from the canal outlet had many fewer gastropods overall, particularly closer inshore but were dominated by polychaetes in offshore. Polychaetes, Molluscs(Gastropods and Bivalves) and Crustaceans had distinct distributions in the three transect sites. The site nearest the canal had lower faunal diversity than those further away. Keywords – Tropical Estuarine benthos, Macrofauna, Spatial and abundance distribution, Phuket.