Benthic freshwater nematode community dynamics under conditions of Tilapia aquaculture in Egypt
Studies of the influence of fish aquaculture on benthic freshwater nematode assemblages are scarce, but could provide a way of gauging environmental effects. The abundance and diversity of nematode assemblages in response to Oreochromis niloticus aquaculture were investigated in Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate, Egypt, from July to November 2014 under conditions of irrigation (reference), fish farm pond with high Tilapia density, and fish farm pond effluent canal without fish. The nematode genera Adoncholaimus, Punctodora, Labronema, Oncholaimus and Odontolaimus were present at all sites. Environmental factors were not related to nematode distribution patterns. Tilapia predation and/or disturbance may explain reduced nematode abundance, especially of the largest genera, Adoncholaimus, Punctodora and Labronema at the fish farm site. The absence of fish from the drainage site allowed intergeneric nematode competitive exclusion, benefitting the largest nematodes and reducing diversity indices.
Keywords: abundance, competition, diversity indices, predation, size selectivity