|A study on the impact of fish farming on the community structure of meiofauna at the Igang marine station, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras Island, Philippines|
De Los Santos, M.A. (2001). A study on the impact of fish farming on the community structure of meiofauna at the Igang marine station, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras Island, Philippines. MSc Thesis. RUG: Gent. 117 pp.
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The impact of fish farming on the meiobenthic ecology was investigated at the fish farming site in the Igang Marine Station, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, Philippines. Two groups of fish cages ( one which has been in operation since 1978 and the other which has been in operation since 1998) were selected as treatment sites while the area having no cages was identified as reference or control. Low levels of nutrient concentrations were observed in the interstitial waters of the sediment found at the center of the 1978 cages. Fishcage farming over a period of 2 years time resulted in an increase in nematode:copepod ratio due to the sensitive response of copepods to organic loading. The meiofauna communities at higher taxa level only show weak differences with the control. However, at the nematode genus level the impact of fishcage farming was clearly identified by the shifting nematode genera composition. Over a long time period of 22 years, the impact of fish farming was much more pronounced resulting in a decrease in nematode densities, a different community structure at higher taxa level, a decrease in nematode (genus) diversity and a different nematode genus composition. This study illustrates the impact of farming on the benthic communities and the potential use of meiofauna in monitoring changes in this environment.