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Hope College

Publication Date

Spring 2021

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology


Mangroves make up one of the most effective natural remedies at combating climate change today. They represent great commercial interest worldwide and yet, are being degraded at an unsustainable rate. If successful mangrove conservation plans are to be implemented for our posterity, mangrove ecosystems need to be better understood at the community level. Mangrove crabs make up the most diverse and populace mangrove inhabitants. They are classified as ecosystem engineers and their potential for being used as bioindicators makes them integral to assessing mangrove health. Yet, their diversity and distribution patterns are not well understood. The aim of this study was to survey general terrestrial Decapoda diversity and distribution patterns within a mangrove forest habitat. Surveys were carried out at Mida Creek, Kenya 3*19’27 S, 39*57’49 E. Quadrat sampling was utilized across three distinct levels of zonation driven by water access and expressed by mangrove species type. One-way Anova tests yielded significant results for crab density across all three zones as well as species richness between two zones suggesting zone specific crab distribution. No correlation was found between either mangrove density or canopy cover as they pertained to crab density. Knowing crabs are tied to specific zones while not being directly influenced by mangrove species suggests other biotic or abiotic factors are at play with determining species gradients.


African Studies | Biostatistics | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Oceanography | Plant Sciences | Research Methods in Life Sciences | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology | Zoology


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