Environmental variables structuringLabeo species (Pisces, Cyprinidae) in Malebo Pool, Congo River
AbstractThis study examined the effect of ten environmental variables on the distribution of five species of the Cyprinid fish (Labeo lineatus, L. nasus, L. macrostomus, L. sorex and L. weeksii) in Malebo Pool, Congo River. A total of 3468 individuals of Labeo spp. were collected in 7 sites. Three species namely Labeo lineatus, L. weeksii and L. sorex represented 94% of the total number of Labeo caught in 7 sites. A significant correlation between species distribution and environmental variables was found using the Canonical Correspondence Analysis. Water depth and current speed, dissolved oxygen concentration and substrate types were the main environmental variables influencing the distribution of Labeo species in Malebo Pool and these species are accordingly divided in two groups. Three species: Labeo sorex, L. nasus and L. macrostomus prefer deep, rocky sites with fast current and high dissolved oxygen concentration. These species are thus considered as rheophilic. Two species: Labeo lineatus and L. weeksii are considered limnophilic as they are usually found in shallow sites with slow current and lower dissolved oxygen concentration. In this last group, L. weeksii was found in sandy sites while L. lineatus preferred mud.
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