Population Densities of Nematodes in the Mangroves of Mida Creek, Kenya
Murray, Amelia M.
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Mangroves serve as one of the most significant and biologically unique ecosystems on Earth. These ecosystems provide important natural, economic, and social resources to several developing countries around the world. Mangroves are complex ecosystems that are sensitive to several abiotic and biotic factors. This paper further explores factors influencing the population densities of nematode populations within mangroves. The study was undertaken in a protected marine reserve on the Kenyan coastline. 45 meiobenthic samples were obtained and analyzed for nematode population density and the densities of the higher taxa present. These samples are representative of five different samplings sites within the park; Kirekwe Macho, Kirekwe Mark, Uyombo 1, Uyombo 2, and Dabaso. At each site samples were obtained from two different mangrove habitats, the forest floor and the floor of the water channel (pool) within the mangrove. An ANOVA indicated significant differences (p≤0.05) in average population densities among the sites and among the sampling areas within the sites for the nematode population densities. All sites indicate that free living nematodes are the predominant taxa, composing at least 90% of every site.