Environmental Factors Influencing the Distribution of Marine Zooplankton in

Anthony E. Ogbeibu, Blessing J. Oribhabor


The composition, abundance, distribution, diversity and seasonal variation of marine zooplankton of Buguma Creek were investigated between November 2004 and October 2006 at five stations, to assess the influence of environmental factors. Thirty-seven taxa comprising 6554 individuals were recorded during the study. Station 3 had the largest number of taxa (22) and individuals (3837) whereas station 4 had the lowest number (14 and 358, respectively). Arthropods were the most important at all the stations, contributing >95% to the total fauna. The rest of the fauna belonged to Coelenterata, Ctenophora, Annelida, Chaetognatha and Chordata. Hutcheson’s t-test showed that stations 4 and 5 had significantly higher diversity (P<0.05) than stations 1,2 and 3, which were not significantly different (P>0.05). High densities of copepod and decapod crustaceans at station 3 could be attributed to increased nutrients resulting from domestic wastes dump and decay of mangrove leaves from regular cutting of mangrove. Some environmental factors which affected the distribution of zooplankton were dissolved oxygen, water level, pH, alkalinity and EDTA hardness.


Environmental Factors; Zooplankton; Diversity; Density; Buguma Creek

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