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Structural and trophic relationships between meiobenthos and epifauna in Ceriops mangroves (Gazi Bay, Kenya)
Steyaert, M.; Schrijvers, J. (1993). Structural and trophic relationships between meiobenthos and epifauna in Ceriops mangroves (Gazi Bay, Kenya). Belg. J. Zool. 123(Suppl. 1): 70
In: Belgian Journal of Zoology. Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Dierkunde = Société royale zoologique de Belgique: Gent. ISSN 0777-6276, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Proceedings 21/3 [57648]
Document types: Conference paper; Summary

Keywords
    Mangroves; Meiobenthos; Trophic relationships; Ceriops tagal (Perr.) C.B. Robinson [WoRMS]; ISW, Kenya, Gazi Bay [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Steyaert, M., more
  • Schrijvers, J., more

Abstract
    The specific relationships between the epifauna and the meiofauna were studied by means of a cage experiment in a mangrove swamp with a Ceriops tagal vegetation in Gazi Bay (Kenya). The experimental set up consists of three cages, three half cages and three blanco's (surface 1 m2). AII the epifauna was removed in the cages in order to study the effects of epifaunal exclusion. The effect of the cage set up was tested by means of the half cages, open on one side. The blanco's are a test for normal fluctuations in the meiofaunal community. Sampling occurred every five days during one month. The experiment shows that the exclusion of the epifauna is followed by an increase of the total meiofauna density (mainly Nematoda, Turbellaria and Oligochaeta). A distinct influence of exclusion of epifauna was also found for the different feeding types of nematodes. Different migration patterns are visible on the taxon level as well as on the genus level (according with feeding type). The disappearance of epifaunal interactions such as predation, competition for food and bioturbation are thought to be the main causal factors for the observed changes in the meiofauna community. Comparison with the blanco's shows that the cage set up has an impact on sediment deposition, algae growth and density of the Ostracoda. This effect is explained through a larger stagnation of the water in the cages (and half cages) causing a larger deposition rate of particles and hence producing better circumstances for the filterfeeders (e.g. Ostracoda).

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