Copepod composition, abundance and diversity in Makupa Creek, Mombasa, Kenya
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The taxonomic composition, abundance and spatio-temporal distribution of copepods were analysed from monthly zooplankton samples collected in Makupa creek and Mombasa Harbour (Makupa creek was until recently subjected to considerable dumping of domestic and industrial waste). At least 51 copepod species belonging to 38 genera in the families Calanoida (25), Harpacticoida (5), Poecilostomatoida (7) and Cyclopoida (1) were identified. The most common genera were Acartia, Acrocalanus, Corycaeus, Oncaea and Oithona. Copepods bloomed in the wet months of November and April (75 to 158/m3). Abundance was consistently high near the creek mouth and low within the creek enclosure. Copepod diversity (H’) was slightly higher (2.00 to 2.57) during September, November, December, January, May and June and lower (1.30 to 1.95) in the remaining months. Evenness (J) was, however, relatively constant (0.67 to 0.84) during the entire sampling period. These results point to suppressed copepod diversity and abundance in Makupa Creek, and possible reasons for this, which may include environmental degradation caused by pollution, are presented.