FISH COMMUNITIES ASSOCIATED IN SEAGRASS BEDS CORRELATED TO THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THEIR HABITAT AT THE COAST OF JEPARA, CENTRAL JAVA, INDONESIAIta Riniatsih, Ambariyanto Ambariyanto, Ervia Yudiati and Retno Hartati
Seagrass beds in the world are currently decreasing, one of which is caused by physical disturbance as a result of anthropogenic impacts. Those conditions may decline the seagrass area and potential for the habitat loss of various types of marine biota which live in association within the ecosystem, including a decrease in fish abundance and diversity in seagrass beds. Seagrass and fish sampling activities have been carried out in seagrass beds in Bandengan, Teluk Awur and Panjang Island waters situated in Jepara regency, Central Java Province of Indonesia. The sampling period was conducted in March and September 2018. Seagrass sampling was done using the quadratic line transect method, and fish sampling was carried out using visual census method on the seagrass line transect. The results of this study showed that Bandenganwaters had the highest seagrass coverage (68.5%) consisting of Enhalus acoroides, Thalassia hemprichii and Cymodocea serrulata, and he lowest was in i Teluk Awur (32%) comprising E. acoroides, T. hemprichii, C. serrulata and Syringodium isoetifolium. Twenty three species were found in Coastal of Jepara with average abundance of 0.511 indv.m-2. The number of fish and fish species were strong to very strong relation to seagrass density, coverage and canopy. PCA analysis also showed that the abundance of fish were more affected by seagrass density. This research has proven that the conditions and species composition of seagrass can affect fish biodiversity.