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Fish and macroinvertebrate fauna associated with floating or drifting surface water mangrove litter in a shallow coastal area in Trang, southern Thailand


Mangrove litter is continuously supplied to coastal water systems in and around Southeast Asian mangrove forests, often floating or drifting in surface layer water and likely providing ecological benefits for aquatic animals. As a first step toward clarification of possible roles of such litter in coastal ecosystems, associated fish/macroinvertebrate fauna in a shallow coastal area in Trang Province, Thailand, were examined by scoop-netting. During the study period, 398 individual fishes (35 species), 33 macrocrustaceans (8 species) and 30 squid (1 species) were collected. Larval/juvenile Zenarchopterus sp. 1 (cf. Z. dunckeri) were the most abundant fish (31.4% of total fishes), followed by Butis butis (16.3%) and Terapon jarbua (13.3%). A pygmy squid, Idiosepius sp., was the most abundant macroinvertebrate (47.6% of total). The majority of specimens collected were small-sized individuals. The mangrove litter, which adds a structured microhabitat to the non-structured surface water layer, probably functions (for small animals) in reducing energy costs for movement, including migration to other areas, as well as reducing predation risk and increasing food catchability, resulting in enhanced affinity of small animals for the litter.

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We are grateful to Hisashi Kurokura, Suwat Tanyaros, Charuwan Pharksuwan, Suparat Tubcharoen, Ruanrit Susuwan, Parichat Hukiew, Patcharee Kaeoprakan, and staff of the Faculty of Science and Fisheries Technology, Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya, for their generous assistance in this work, and Kotaro Tsuchiya and Koichi Shibukawa for their helpful suggestions for fish/squid identification. Constructive comments on the manuscript from Graham Hardy and the anonymous referees are much appreciated. This work was conducted with the permission of the National Research Council of Thailand (Project ID 2010/064) and was financially supported by a Grant-in-aid for Scientific Research (B) from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan (No 25304030).

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Correspondence to Masahiro Horinouchi.

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Horinouchi, M., Kanou, K., Kon, K. et al. Fish and macroinvertebrate fauna associated with floating or drifting surface water mangrove litter in a shallow coastal area in Trang, southern Thailand. Ichthyol Res 67, 177–184 (2020).

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  • Floating mangrove litter
  • Fish
  • Macroinvertebrate