How invertebrate communities are impacted by shellfish harveting?
In West Africa tropical estuaries, such as the Saloum Delta (Senegal), mangroves provide specific socio-economic functions in particular with various natural food resources for local human populations. Shellfish harvesting constitutes an important source of income for Senegalese women as well an important source of animal protein for local population in West African mangroves.
However, a gradual decrease in West African cockle (Senilia senilis) stocks has been observed.
As a consequence, a need to understand current functioning of ecosystem through the analysis of macrobenthic communities appeared.
Aims, questions, issues
This study aims to:
characterize Saloum delta and Fadiouth macrofaunal communities and
identify macrobenthic communities’ structural factors by assessing the influence of environmental parameters and anthropogenic impact, such as shellfish harvesting and organic pollution, on macrofaunal communities. Highlighting factors responsible for macrofaunal community structure could provide important insights to understand causes of decline in shellfish stocks.
How to answer those questions?
In this study, six stations were sampled in 2007 and 2008 in the Saloum Delta and Fadiouth lagoon. Samples were collected in order to identify macrofaunal communities. This allowed to highlight environmental and anthropogenic structuring factors for macrofaunal communities.