Distribution patterns of striped mullet Mugil cephalus in mangrove creeks, Zanzibar, Tanzania
DOI: 10.2989/18142321003714575
Title: Distribution patterns of striped mullet Mugil cephalus in mangrove creeks, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Journal Title: African Journal of Marine Science
Volume: Volume 32
Issue: Issue 1
Publication Date: June 2010
Start Page: 85
End Page: 93
Published online: 3 Jun 2010
ISSN: 1814-232X
Author: A W Mwandyaa, Y D Mgayab, M C ?hmanc, I Brycesond & M Gullstr?mce
Affiliations:
a Department of Animal Sciences and Production , Sokoine University of Agriculture , PO Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania
b Department of Aquatic Sciences and Technology , University of Dar es Salaam , PO Box 60091, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
c Department of Zoology , Stockholm University , SE-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden
d Norwegian University of Life Sciences , PO Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas, Norway
e Department of Systems Ecology , Stockholm University , SE-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract: Spatial and seasonal variations in density of striped mullet Mugil cephalus were investigated in four mangrove creeks in Zanzibar, Tanzania, during a one-year cycle. Fish were collected monthly in the lower, intermediate and upper reaches of each creek using a beach-seine net. All fish collected were juveniles between 2 and 16 cm standard length. The density of juvenile mullet differed significantly among the creeks, but the spatial patterns within them were consistent with higher densities upstream in three of the creeks. Generally, small mullet (2–10 cm) were more abundant in the upper reaches compared to the lower and intermediate reaches. Seasonal patterns were weak, although mullet densities were high during the period of heavy rains (March–May). Principal component analysis showed that a muddy substrate with microphytobenthos was positively correlated with high mullet densities, although site-specific variables such as shallow water depth and water clarity were also significantly correlated. Our findings suggest that the densities of juvenile striped mullet vary among sites and creeks in response to refuge availability from turbid, shallow water and the accessibility of food from benthic microalgae.
Accepted: 1 Jan 2010

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