Aquatic invertebrate fauna of wells in a tropical mountain climate, western Cameroon
The present study, conducted between May 2012 and September 2013, aimed to determine the distribution of groundwater invertebrates in the Bamoun tableland, Cameroon. A total of 216 samples taken from 30 wells in four localities – Foumban, Foumbot, Kouoptamo and Magba – contained 80 invertebrate taxa belonging to Crustacea, Oligochaeta, Arachnida, Insecta, Nematoda, Tardigrada, and Gastropoda. The community was relatively rich, diverse, and was dominated by crustaceans. The distribution of groundwater fauna was influenced mainly by local factors, especially those related to the physical structure of wells such as the presence of a margin, a closing system, and total depth. At the regional scale, elevation and season were the only factors influencing the distribution of fauna. Further research needs to be conducted to highlight the relationship between groundwater invertebrates and human impacts in rural areas.
Keywords: Africa, biodiversity, environmental factors, local and regional scales