Zoological Studies

Vol. 54, 2015

Biodiversity of Talitridae family (Crustacea, Amphipoda) in some Tunisian coastal lagoons

Raja Jelassi1,*, Hajer Khemaissia1, Martin Zimmer2, Dieter Garbe-Schönberg3, and Karima Nasri-Ammar1

1Université de Tunis El Manar II, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Unité de recherche Bio-Écologie et Systématique Évolutive, Tunis, Tunisie
2FB Organismische Biologie, AG Ökologie, Biodiversität & Evolution der Tiere, Universität Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
3Institut für Geowissenschaften, ICP-MS Labor, Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, Germany

Background: Although wetlands were remarkable habitats with their fauna and flora diversity, few studies have been devoted to the study of amphipod distribution in this type of environment. To study both qualitatively and quantitatively amphipod community, surveys were conducted during the spring season in ten coastal lagoons ranging from subhumid to arid bioclimatic stage. At each station, eight quadrats of 50 × 50 cm were randomly placed. Amphipods were preserved in alcohol 70°C. In the laboratory, the specimens collected were identified and counted. Meanwhile, analyses of organic matter, particle size, and heavy metals from the soil taken from each station were made.
Results: A total of 1,340 specimens of amphipods were collected, and eight species belonging to Talitridae family were identified. Species richness ranges from one species collected in the supralittoral zone of El Bcherliya (Ghar El Melh lagoon) and eight species in the supralittoral zone of Bizerte lagoon. In this last station, the relative abundance of amphipods was significantly higher (36.04%, N = 483). In addition, the diversity indices of Simpson, Shannon-Weaver, and equitability shows that the highest species diversity characterizes this same station while the community was more balanced in opposite El Boughaz (Ghar El Melh lagoon) (J″ = 0.996).
Conclusions: The spatial distribution of different amphipod species depends on edaphic (heavy metals, granulometry, organic matter) and climatic (temperature, humidity) factors.

Key words: Tunisia; Biodiversity; Lagoon; Amphipoda; Talitridae; Heavy metals.

*Correspondence: E-mail: djelassi.raja@gmail.com