Structurele en trofische relaties tussen meiobenthos en epifauna in Ceriops mangroves (Gazi Bay, Kenya); Structural and trophic relationships between meiobenthos and epifauna in Ceriops mangroves (Gazi Bay, Kenya)
Steyaert, M. (1993). Structurele en trofische relaties tussen meiobenthos en epifauna in Ceriops mangroves (Gazi Bay, Kenya); Structural and trophic relationships between meiobenthos and epifauna in Ceriops mangroves (Gazi Bay, Kenya). MSc Thesis. Universiteit Gent: Ghent. 118 (vol1), appendix (vol 2) pp.
Thee 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 located at Gazi Bay (Kenya). The experimental setup consists of three cages, three half cages and three blanco’s (surface 1 m2). All epifauna was removed in the cages in order to study the effects of epifaunal exclusion. The effect of the cage setup was tested by means of the half cages, open on the 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 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. These three factors probably are the most important factors regulating the meiofauna community. Comparison with the blanco’s shows that the cage setup 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 filter feeders (e.g. Ostracoda). These results were compared with those of an identical experimental setup in an Avicennia marina vegetation also at Gazi Bay (SCHALLIER, 1993; SILENCE, 1993). Similar epifauna-meiofauna relationships were found.
Study of epifauna and meiobenthos by means of cage experiments in a Ceriops tagal and Avicennia marina mangrove at Gazi Bay (Kenya) in August and September 1992, more