Kenyan coral reef-associated gastropod assemblages: distribution and diversity patterns
A survey of Kenya's shallow water (<2 m) coral reef-associated prosobranch fauna was undertaken to determine patterns of distribution, density, diversity and species richness, and the possible role of other reef fauna and human utilization on these patterns. The sample assemblage of 135 species from 25 families is similar to other Indian Ocean regions with no apparent endemism or subregional faunal affinities. Species richness, determined by species-individual relationships, has been reduced by approximately 45% since the Pleistocene. Northern Kenya, typified by small coral islands experiencing river and estuarine discharges had low densities and species richness and high species variability. This is attributable to the interrelated factors of river discharge, small reefs and reduced predator refuge. Southern Kenya's more expansive fringing reef has a denser and richer fauna but appears less species rich than Tanzania. Variation within reefs suggests similarities in diversity between reef lagoons, flats and edges, but lagoons had lower densities than reef flat or edge sites. This is attributable to greater predation rates within lagoons. Species composition between reef locations was variable but differed for comparisons between reef lagoons and reef flats. The population densities of thirty commercially collected species were compared between shelled and unshelled reefs. Only two commercial strombids, Lambis truncata and L. chiragra, had lower densities within shelled compared to unshelled reefs. Within six southern Kenvan reef lagoons, total gastropod densities were negatively correlated with the Balistidae (triggerfish) and total fish densities and positively with sea urchin densities. The removal of balistids through fishing appears to lead to co-occurring population increases in gastropod and sea urchin populations which, in most instances, appears to negate the effect of shell collecting.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ethologie animale