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The mangrove forests as nursery habitats for the ichthyofauna of Mida Creek (Kenya, East Africa)
Gajdzik, L.; Vanreusel, A.; Koedam, N.; Reubens, J.; Muthumbi, A. (2014). The mangrove forests as nursery habitats for the ichthyofauna of Mida Creek (Kenya, East Africa). J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 94(5): 865-877. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315414000290
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154; e-ISSN 1469-7769, more
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    Sphyraena barracuda (Edwards, 1771) [WoRMS]; Synodus variegatus (Lacepède, 1803) [WoRMS]
    ISW, Kenya, Mida Creek [Marine Regions]
Author keywords
    Synodus variegatus

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    This study investigated the presumed nursery function of mangroves for the ichthyofauna in East African swamp forests, Mida Creek. The species and size composition of the fish fauna and their trophic interactions were studied for five stations. Samples were collected during 5–6 consecutive days close to spring tide in mid-July 2011. Fish were caught using different types of passive fishing gear, such as large and small fyke nets, gill nets and, additionally, beach seines. All individuals were identified to species level, measured and preserved for further analyses. Stomach content analysis was applied to provide information about their diet. Stable isotope analysis was used to detect whether the source of primary production for the higher trophic levels is mangrove-related or not. A total of 27 fish species was recorded in a catch of 938 teleost specimens. Our analyses showed that a majority of fish belonged to the zoobenthivorous/omnivorous trophic mode, since they were partially feeding on invertebrates and on various other food sources. Two species (Sphyraena barracuda and Synodus variegatus) exhibited a mixed diet, with a piscivorous preference. Results concerning the population structure suggested that the fish community of Mida mainly consists of transient species. Juveniles were numerically more abundant in the whole Creek than adults. These findings support the hypothesis of a nursery function of the mangrove forests, Mida Creek.

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