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Spatio-temporal patterns of fish assemblages in coastal West African rivers: a self-organizing map approach

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2007

Félix Koffi Konan
Affiliation:
Laboratoire Environnement et Biologie aquatique UFR-SGE, Université d'Abobo-Adjamé, BP 801 Abidjan 02, Ivory Coast
Fabien Leprieur
Affiliation:
Laboratoire Dynamique de la Biodiversité, UMR 5172, CNRS – Université Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
Allassane Ouattara
Affiliation:
Laboratoire Environnement et Biologie aquatique UFR-SGE, Université d'Abobo-Adjamé, BP 801 Abidjan 02, Ivory Coast
Sébastien Brosse
Affiliation:
Laboratoire Dynamique de la Biodiversité, UMR 5172, CNRS – Université Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
Gaël Grenouillet
Affiliation:
Laboratoire Dynamique de la Biodiversité, UMR 5172, CNRS – Université Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
Germain Gourène
Affiliation:
Laboratoire Environnement et Biologie aquatique UFR-SGE, Université d'Abobo-Adjamé, BP 801 Abidjan 02, Ivory Coast
Peter Winterton
Affiliation:
Laboratoire Dynamique de la Biodiversité, UMR 5172, CNRS – Université Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
Sovan Lek
Affiliation:
Laboratoire Dynamique de la Biodiversité, UMR 5172, CNRS – Université Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
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Abstract

We investigated spatio-temporal patterns of fish assemblages in four small coastal rivers in South-East Ivory Coast. The samples were collected between July 2003 and March 2005 at 8 sampling sites (2 per river: 1 upstream and 1 downstream). A total of 59 fish species belonging to 39 genera, 23 families and 11 orders were captured. Perciforms (30% of the families and 33% of the species), followed by Siluriforms (22% and 22%), Osteoglossiforms (13% and 17%), Characiforms (9% and 10%) and Pleuronectiforms (9% and 3%) were the most abundant orders. Among the families sampled, Cichlidae (20% of the species), Mormyridae (13%), Clariidae (10%), Cyprinidae (10%) and Characidae (8%) were largely represented. Among the 59 fish species captured, we identified fifteen marine/brackish species and two introduced species. To analyse patterns of fish assemblages, we used a non-linear clustering technique, the self-organizing map (SOM). Using SOM, samples were classified into 4 clusters, mainly related to the spatial location of the sampling sites. Except for the distance from the source of the river, environmental variables (width, depth, current velocity) did not show a clear distribution gradient on the SOM map. This pattern was explained by the abundance of estuarine/marine species (i.e. 25% of the species) characterizing the lower course of the rivers studied. Such a distribution of estuarine/marine species colonizing the lower and middle course of the rivers was explained by the absence of dams and contrasts with the patterns observed in more fragmented rivers of Ivory Coast. Therefore, we suggest that these small streams should be preserved in order to permit estuarine/marine species to migrate between streams and the Aby lagoon, thus allowing their large distribution and their reproduction in favourable habitats. We suggest particular attention be given to the Soumié River basin which represents the only preserved stream ecosystem within the Bia River basin.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD, 2007

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Spatio-temporal patterns of fish assemblages in coastal West African rivers: a self-organizing map approach
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