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The meiofauna distribution in correlation with environmental characteristics in 5 Mekong estuaries, Vietnam
Ngo, X.Q.; Smol, N.; Vanreusel, A. (2013). The meiofauna distribution in correlation with environmental characteristics in 5 Mekong estuaries, Vietnam. Cah. Biol. Mar. 54(1): 71-83
In: Cahiers de Biologie Marine. Station Biologique de Roscoff: Paris. ISSN 0007-9723, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Meiofauna assemblage; Mekong estuary; Environmental parameters;Diversity

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Abstract
    Meiofauna assemblages in 5 estuaries of the Mekong river system (Cua Tieu, Cua Dai, Ba Lai, Co Chien and Dinh An) were sampled for community analysis in March 2009, the dry season. The objectives of this research were to provide the first base line survey of meiofauna assemblages in the 5 Mekong estuaries, and to understand how environmental characteristics affect the densities, diversity and structure of the meiofauna. In each estuary, three to four sampling stations were chosen along the salinity gradient from the river mouth to the fresh water part. Besides the meiofauna also sediment- and water column-related environmental characteristics were identified such as dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, temperature, median grain size, density of coliform bacteria, nutrient and pigment concentrations. Twenty-three major taxa of meiofauna were recorded over the 19 sampling stations. Nematoda, Copepoda, Turbellaria and Oligochaeta dominated with varying densities, but without any clear correlation with the salinity gradient present along the estuaries. The densities of the meiofauna ranged from 105 to 3678 ind.10 cm-2 on average. Nematodes were always dominant with relative abundances ranging from 40-98% of the total meiofauna. Meiofauna densities were significantly correlated with sediment pigment concentrations but also other factors may play a role. Diversity showed a positive correlation with dissolved oxygen in the overlying water. The observed densities of the intertidal meiofauna in the Mekong delta are high compared to other estuaries worldwide.

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