Zoological Studies

Vol. 54, 2015

Long-term monitoring of Gastropoda (Mollusca) fauna in planted mangroves in central Vietnam

Sofya Zvonareva1*, Yuri Kantor1, Xinzheng Li2 and Temir Britayev1

1Laboratory of Ecology and Morphology of Marine Invertebrates, A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, 33 Leninskij prosp, Moscow 119071, Russia
2Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 7 Nanhai Road, Qingdao, 266071, China

Background: The aim of the research was to study the gastropod assemblage associated with a planted mangrove consisting of Rhizophora apiculata in Dam Bay (Tre Island, Nha Trang Bay, central Vietnam). Long-term changes in species composition, density, and biomass of gastropod assemblages in a planted mangrove were compared to those associated with natural mangroves.
The gastropod assemblages in one planted and two natural mangrove associations were studied. Long-term monitoring (2005 to 2013) of assemblages associated with planted mangroves was also carried out. In total, 53 gastropod species in 21 families were recorded. This is comparable or even higher than in other areas of South-East Asia. In planted mangroves, R. apiculata trees were planted in mid (in 2004) and lower (2007) intertidal zones. Composition of gastropod fauna during the early period of observations (2005 to 2006) differed significantly in species richness, biomass, and abundance from the later period (2008 to 2013). Initially, the values of these parameters were low in the upper, and mid-intertidal zones and negligible in low intertidal zone. In 2008 to 2013, the values increased in the upper and mid-intertidal zones. R. apiculata planting in mid-intertidal zone and changes in its gastropod assemblage strongly affected those of upper intertidal zone as well. Comparison of gastropod fauna in planted mangroves and natural associations revealed significant differences. In planted mangroves, gastropods were mostly represented by eurybiotic species, also found in other not mangrove intertidal habitats, while in natural association many species were predominantly mangrove inhabitants, e.g., Potamididae, Littorinidae, and Ellobiidae. The fact that mangrove plantations in Dam Bay are highly dominated by opportunistic species, together with a paucity of predominantly mangrove-associated gastropods, suggest that the whole ecosystem is not balanced yet.
Conclusions: The gastropod assemblage found in a 9-year old mangrove plantation differed from natural mangrove associations in that the former is dominated by opportunistic eurybiotic gastropod species. This could mean that the ecosystem of planted mangroves is unbalanced and is still in a transitional state.

Key words: Biodiversity; Biomass; Abundance; Faunal dynamics; Opportunistic species.

*Correspondence: E-mail: sonyazv@mail.ru