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Water quality and phytoplankton community structure in mangrove streams under different logging regimes in Cameroon

Fonge, Ambo Beatrice, Tabot, Pascal Tabi, Mumbang, Coleen, Mange, Chop Adeline
African journal of ecology 2016 v.54 no.1 pp. 39-48
Euglenaceae, Microcystis, acidity, anthropogenic activities, community structure, correlation, ecosystems, eutrophication, harvesting, human settlements, logging, pH, phosphorus, phytoplankton, pollution, species diversity, streams, water quality, wood, Cameroon
Mangrove logging is rampant, and its effects on phytoplankton dynamics have not been investigated. Phytoplankton are valuable in biomonitoring pollution in mangrove ecosystems. This study assessed the relationship between physico‐chemical characteristics of the water and observed phytoplankton community structure, in relation to anthropogenic activities. Water samples were collected from seven sites within the mangrove ecosystem that differed in wood harvesting age and proximity to human settlements. Characterization of samples followed standard methods. pH of all water samples indicated acidity. Phytoplankton species richness and soluble P were positively correlated (r = 0.822, P ≤ 0.023), but no correlations existed with logging age (r = −0.273, P = 0553). The site with highest soluble phosphorus concentration (Site 4) had highest phytoplankton abundance, diversity and richness. A total of 127 species were identified in 58 families. Euglenaceae was the most abundant family (13 species) and Anacystis sp. the most frequent species (100%). The most common genera were Microcystis and Anacystis, bioindicators of pollution. The site at which harvesting was most recently performed had more eutrophic species, while site harvested earliest (Site 5) had the least. These results are discussed with respect to how anthropogenic activities influence water quality, phytoplankton community structure, mangrove conservation and management.