Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 37–51 | Cite as

Estuarine and mangrove systems and the nursery concept: which is which? The case of the Sine Saloum system (Senegal)



The mangrove system of Sine Saloum in Senegal is characterized by the lack of permanent river flow, in the context of the Sahelian drought which began in the 70s. The main environmental consequence is that Sine Saloum has become a so called ‘reversed estuary’ with salinity increasing upstream and reaching 100‰ and more, with a mean salinity between 45–50‰. A three‐year survey of the juvenile fish community was undertaken with the aim of verifying whether or not this environment is still suitable as a nursery area for exploited fish populations. The main sampling gear used were small fyke‐nets in addition to gill nets and a limited rotenone sampling. One of the six mangrove stations included in the survey exhibited a relatively high species diversity. This station is the only one where salinity may reach levels as low as 25‰ at the end of the rainy season, although salinity is much higher in the upstream region near this station. Such a low salinity is likely due to an underground freshwater connection or underwater springs. These observations highlight the relative importance of estuaries and mangroves in the nursery function.

Africa estuary fish juvenile mangrove nursery 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Albaret, J.J. 1994. Les poissons: Biologie et peuplements. pp. 239–279. In: Durand, J.R., Dufour, Ph., Guiral, D. and Zabi, S.G.F. (eds), Environnement et ressources aquatiques de Côte-d'Ivoire. Tome II-Les milieux lagunaires.Google Scholar
  2. Albaret, J.J., et Desfossez, P. 1988. Biologie et Ecologie des Gerreidae (Pisces,Teleostei) en Lagune Ebrié (Côte D'Ivoire). Revue d'Hydrobiologie tropicale 21(1): 77–88.Google Scholar
  3. Albaret, J.J., et Diouf, P.S. 1994. Diversité des poissons des lagunes et des estuaires ouest-africains. pp. 165–177. In: Teugels, G.G., Guégan, J.F. and Albaret, J.J. (eds), Diversité biologique des poissons des eaux douces et saumâtres d'Afrique.Google Scholar
  4. Baran, E. 1995. Dynamique spatio-temporelle des peuplements de poissons estuariens en Guinée. Relations avec le milieu abiotique. Thése, Univ. Bretagne Occidentale, 225 p.Google Scholar
  5. Blaber, S.J.M. 1997. Fish and Fisheries of Tropical Estuaries. Chapman & Hall, London, 367 p.Google Scholar
  6. Blaber, S.J.M., Brewer, D.T. and Salini, J.P. 1989. Species composition and biomasses of fishes in different habitats of a tropical northern Australian estuary: their occurrence in the adjoining sea and estuarine dependence. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 29(6): 509–531.Google Scholar
  7. Bousso, T. 1996. La pêche artisanale dans l'estuaire du Sine Saloum (Sénégal). Approches typologiques des systémes d'exploitation. Thése, Univ. de Montpellier 2, 262 p.Google Scholar
  8. Castillo, G.C., Li, H.W. and Golden, J.T. 1994. Environmentally induced recruitment variation in Petrale Sole, Eopsetta jordani. Fishery Bulletin 92(3): 481–493.Google Scholar
  9. Caveriviére, A. 1994. Comparaison sur une période de 20 ans (1972-1992) des indices d'abondance obtenu sur le plateau continental sénégalais à partir des campagnes de chalutage de fond. pp. 163–177. In: Barry-Gérard M., T. Diouf et A. Fonteneau (eds.), L'évaluation des ressources exploitables par la Pêche arisanale sénégalaise. ORSTOM, Colloques et séminaires, Paris.Google Scholar
  10. Day, J.H. and Deegan, L.A. 1988. Nekton, the free swimming consumers. pp. 377–437. In: Day, J.H., Hall, C.A.S., Kemp, W.M. and Yañez-Arancibia A. (eds), Estuarine Ecology, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Diouf, P.S. 1996. Les peuplements de poissons des milieux estuariens de l'Afrique de l'Ouest: L'exemple de l'estuaire hyperhalin du Sine-Saloum. Thése, Univ. Montpellier 2, 267 p.Google Scholar
  12. Fortier, L. and Leggett, W.C. 1982. Fickian transport and the dispersal of fish larvae in estuaries. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 39: 1150–1163.Google Scholar
  13. Holt S.A., Holt, G.J. and Arnold, C.R. 1989. Tidal stream transport of larval fishes into non-stratified estuaries. Rapport et Procèsverbaux du Conseil International d'Exploration de la Mer 191: 100–104.Google Scholar
  14. Lebreton J.D., Chessel, D., Richardot-Coulet, M., et Yoccoz, N. 1988. L'Analyse des relations espèces-milieu par l'analyse canonique des coreespondances. Acta Oecologica 9(2): 137–151.Google Scholar
  15. Little, M.C., Reay, P.J. and Grove, S.J. 1988. The fish community of an East African mangrove creek. Journal of Fish Biology 32: 729–747.Google Scholar
  16. Miller, J.M., Crowder, L.B. and Moser, M.L. 1983. Migration and utilization of estuarine nurseries by juvenile fishes: an evolutionnary perspective. 338–352. In: M.A. Rankin (ed.), Migration: Mechanisms and adaptive signifiance. Cont. Marine Science 27(suppl.).Google Scholar
  17. Miller, J.M. and Burke, J.S. 1991. Early life history patterns of Atlantic North-American flatfish: likely (and unlikely) factors controlling recruitment. Netherlands Journal of Sea Research 27(3/4): 261–275.Google Scholar
  18. Neira, F.J. and Potter, I.C. 1992. The Ichthyoplankton of a seasonally closed estuary in temperate Australia - does an extended period of opening influence species composition. Journal of Fish Biology 41(6): 935–953.Google Scholar
  19. Pagès, J. and Citeau, J. 1990. Rainfall and salinity of a sahelian estuary between 1927 and 1987. Journal of Hydrology 113: 325–341.Google Scholar
  20. Potter, I.C., Beckley, L.E., Whitfield, A.K. and Lenanton, C.J. 1990. Comparisons between the roles played by estuaries in the life cycle of fishes in temperate western Australia and southern Africa. Environmental Biology of Fishes 28: 143–178.Google Scholar
  21. Pritchard, D.W. 1967. What is an estuary: Physical viewpoint. pp. 3–5. In: G.H. Lauff (ed.), Estuaries. American Association for the advancement of Science, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  22. Ross, S.W. and Epperly, S.P. 1985. Utilization of shallow estuarine nursery areas by fishes in Pamlico sound and adjacent tributaries, North Carolina. pp. 207–232. In: (Yanez-Arancibia (ed.), Fish community ecology in estuaries and coastal lagoons: Towards an Ecosystem integration.Google Scholar
  23. Ruiz, G.M., Hines, A.H. and Posey, M.H. 1993. Shallow water as a refuge habitat for fish and crustaceans in nonvegetated estuaries - an example from chesapeake bay. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 99(1-2): 1–16.Google Scholar
  24. Samba, A. 1994. Présentation sommaire des différentes pêcheries sénégalaises. pp. 1–9. In: Barry-Gérard, M., Diouf, T., et Fonteneau, A. (eds), L'évaluation des ressources exploitables par la pêche artisanale sénégalaise. ORSTOM, Colloques et séminaires, Paris.Google Scholar
  25. Sasekumar, A., Chong, V.C., Leh, M.U. and Da Cruz, R. 1992. Mangroves as a habitat for fish and prawns. Hydrobiologia, 247(1-3): 195–207.Google Scholar
  26. Thioulouse, J., Chessel, D., Doledec, S., et Olivier, J.M. 1997. ADE-4: a multivariate analysis and graphical display software. Statistics and Computing 7: 75–83.Google Scholar
  27. Tzeng, W.N. and Wang, Y.T. 1992. Structure, composition and seasonal dynamics of the larval and juvenile fish community in the mangrove estuary of Tanshui river Taiwan. Marine Biology 113(3): 481–490.Google Scholar
  28. Whitfield, A.K. 1994. Abundance of larval and 0+ juvenile marine fishes in the lower reaches of 3 Southern African estuaries with differing freshwater inputs. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 105(3): 257–267.Google Scholar
  29. Yanez-Arancibia A., Lara-Domingez, A. L., Aguirre-León, A., Díaz-Ruiz, S., Amezcua-Linares, F., Flores-Hernandez, D. and Chavance, P. 1985. Ecology of dominant fish populations in tropical estuaries: environmental factors regulating biological strategies and populations. Chap. 15 pp. 311–366. In: Yanez-Arancibia (ed.), Fish community Ecology in estuaries and coastal lagoons: Towards an Ecosystem Integration.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Vidy
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire Halieutique et Ecosystèmes AquatiquesMontpellier ORSTOM centreMontpellierFrance

Personalised recommendations