Intertidal nematode communities in the Mekong estuaries of Vietnam and their potential for biomonitoring

  • Ngo Xuan QuangEmail author
  • Nguyen Ngoc Chau
  • Nic Smol
  • Larisa Prozorova
  • Ann Vanreusel


Nematode communities in eight Mekong estuaries were investigated during the dry season. The aim of the study was to identify the structure and the diversity of the communities in relation to the main environmental characteristics. In each estuary, three to four intertidal sampling stations were identified at regular distances from the mouth to up to 45 km land inward. The nematode communities showed a strong correlation with sediment composition and to a lesser degree with chlorophyll a concentrations. Multivariate analysis resulted in the identification of four types of communities. We identified two types of Desmodora communities in the sandy mouth stations and two types of Parodontophora communities in the silty sand stations. One of the silt associated communities showed a preference for higher chlorophyll a concentrations, resulting in higher densities and higher diversity, mainly of monhysterid species. Because of the strong association between community structure and sediment composition, nematodes are a meaningful tool for monitoring changes in their environment. In case their community deviates from what is expected based on sediment, it may serve as an early warning for disturbance.


Nematode communities Desmodora Paradontophora Environment Mekong estuary Biomonitoring 



The authors are grateful to Mr. Dirk Van Gansbeke, Ghent University, Belgium for his sampling guidance, sediment, and chemical analyses. We also thank Dr. Jan Vanaverbeke and Dr. Ingels Jeroen for their help and discussion about the SIMPROF and draftsman plot analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Financial support

This work was funded by VLIR-UOS, Belgium.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ngo Xuan Quang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nguyen Ngoc Chau
    • 3
  • Nic Smol
    • 4
  • Larisa Prozorova
    • 5
  • Ann Vanreusel
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Environmental Quality, Atmospheric Science and Climate Change & Faculty of Environment and Labour SafetyTon Duc Thang UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Management and Technology, Institute of Tropical BiologyVietnam Academy of Science and TechnologyHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  3. 3.Department of Nematology, Institute of Ecology and Biological ResourcesVietnam Academy of Science and TechnologyCau GiayVietnam
  4. 4.Postgraduate International Nematology Course, Biology DepartmentGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  5. 5.Institute of Biology and Soil Science (IBSS) FEB RASVladivostokRussia
  6. 6.Marine Biology Research Group, Biology DepartmentGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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