Mangroves with its aerial roots provide a complex structure of microhabitats and refuge for an array of organisms that contributes to the biodiversity of this ecosystem. The present study aims to investigate and compare the distribution and biodiversity of the macro-benthic fauna living within the natural mangrove Avicennia marina, saltmarsh and replanted mangle. The study also compares relevant features of the abiotic and biotic environments of these habitats, during the period of study (October 2013 – March 2014). Results showed that TOC content was significantly higher in the sediments of the mangrove compared with salt marshes. The percent silt was also higher in the natural mangrove ecosystem compared to the planted and salt marshes locations. There was significant differences in community structures in terms of species composition and abundance between the natural mangrove, saltmarsh and planted mangrove sites. Shannon diversity index (H’) was generally higher for natural mangrove compared to the other two sites. Multivariate statistical analyses, including cluster analysis and non-multidimensional scales plot were employed to show similarity percent between sites. The higher organic matter content and the finer grain size in the natural mangrove site indicated the higher productivity and organic carbon flux from the mangrove. This result indicated that the three ecosystems have different biotic and abiotic settings that impacts the macrofaunal communities.


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  • Received: 07 December 2015
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