Human activities and environmental variables drive infaunal community structure and functioning in West African mangroves - Université de Bretagne Occidentale Access content directly
Journal Articles Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science Year : 2023

Human activities and environmental variables drive infaunal community structure and functioning in West African mangroves

Abstract

In West African tropical estuaries, such as the Saloum Delta (Senegal), mangroves provide specific socio-economic functions including various natural food resources for local human populations. Mangrove-habitat loss is therefore of great concern, in terms of conservation and management, and highlights the need to study West African mangrove under human-induced pressures. Based on data from 2007 to 2008, this study aimed to establish a conditions report for two of the main Southern West Senegal mangroves areas: the Sine Saloum and the Petite C & ocirc;te. We assessed the influence of environmental variables and human-induced pressures (i.e. shellfish harvesting and heavy metals (potentially toxic elements, PTEs)) on infaunal community structure and functions through trait-based approaches.Reflecting for example changing seasons and hypersaline events, the Saloum environmental variables and their temporal dynamics greatly impacted infaunal communities in the subtidal zone. In the intertidal area, closer to anthropogenic disturbances, pressures related to human activities took precedence over environmental variables in explaining infaunal community structure. Shellfish harvesting resulted in a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in total macrofaunal abundance (933.79 +/- 626.34 ind m(-2) in unexploited stations compared to 140.92 +/- 71.99 ind m(-2) in exploited stations; mean +/- SE) in addition to a decline in biomass and taxonomic richness. Intertidal species composition was affected by both shellfish harvesting and PTEs. PTEs were also associated with a significant decrease in functional diversity and particularly with a change in macrofaunal living habits. The combination of an RLQ and fourth-corner analysis highlighted a significant association between feeding modes and sediment grain size in both tidal areas.This study provides a needed deeper understanding of the unintended effects of human activities on infaunal communities and their functioning, in a highly valuable system for humans. Pinpointed factors driving infaunal community structure and functions provide important insights for future research, as well as reference points for the implementation of management measures.
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hal-04260469 , version 1 (27-10-2023)

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M.P. Jacquot, M.C. Nordström, L. de Wever, R. Ngom Ka, S. Ka, et al.. Human activities and environmental variables drive infaunal community structure and functioning in West African mangroves. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2023, 293, pp.108481. ⟨10.1016/j.ecss.2023.108481⟩. ⟨hal-04260469⟩
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