Rapid Assessment of Anthropogenic Impacts of Exposed Sandy Beaches in Ghana using Ghost Crabs (Ocypode Spp.) as Ecological Indicators
AbstractWe applied a rapid assessment methodology to estimate the degree of human impact of exposed sandy beaches in Ghana using ghost crabs as ecological indicators. The use of size ranges of ghost crab burrows and their population density as ecological indicators to assess extent of anthropogenic impacts on beaches was explored in this study. For each site, three transects were laid perpendicular to the shoreline over a 100 meter distance at 50 m intervals, i.e., at reference points 0, 50 and 100 meter points. Sampling locations were randomly selected along the three transects using a 1 m x 1 m quadrat. Measurements were done twice weekly for a period of four weeks. The results showed that even though the moderately disturbed beach had higher burrow density than the disturbed beach on the average, the difference is not statistically significant (T-test; p > 0.01). However, mean burrow diameter at the moderately disturbed site was statistically found to be significantly larger than for the disturbed site (T-test; p < 0.01). We conclude that burrow sizes is a good estimator for verification of human impacts of exposed sandy beaches. It confirms that burrow density even though an important factor, may not necessarily be a significant estimator of the impacts of human activity on beaches. On this basis, it appears that the estimations of the diameter of burrows of crabs of the Ocypode genera provides a rapid tool for impact verification of sandy beaches and for use in environmental quality monitoring of beach programs in coastal areas.
The Momona Ethiopian Journal of Science accepts the manuscripts for consideration with the understanding that the manuscript has not been published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Only original articles will be considered for publication if they have been published previously as abstracts, but not if they have been published previously as extended abstract (>1000 words). This applies to both electronic and print versions of the journal. The authors should assign copyright ownership to the Editorial Office of MEJS in the event that the manuscript is accepted for publication in the Momona Ethiopian Journal of Science. All accepted manuscripts must be accompanied by a copyright statement signed by all authors. A copy of the copyright form will be supplied along with the final reviewed version of the manuscript that is sent for final proof- reading. Authors may make multiple copies of the form if necessary and send to the Editorial Office with author’s signature(s) even individually.
All articles published by Momona Ethiopian Journal of Science (MEJS) are Open Access under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0). Under this license, authors retain ownership of the copyright for their content, and anyone can copy, distribute, or reuse articles as long as the author and original source are properly cited. In all these cases for re-use, the authors will be given proper credit to the original publication in MEJS.