13 Mar 2024
 | 13 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Reefal ostracod assemblages from the Zanzibar Archipelago (Tanzania)

Skye Yunshu Tian, Martin Langer, Moriaki Yasuhara, and Chih-Lin Wei

Abstract. Tropical reefs encompass tremendous biodiversity yet are imperiled by increasing natural and anthropogenic disturbances worldwide. Meiobenthic biotas on coral reefs, for example, ostracods, may experience substantial diversity loss and compositional changes even before being examined. In this study, we investigated the reefal ostracod assemblages from the highly diverse and productive ecosystem in Zanzibar Archipelago (Pemba, Zanzibar, and Mafia islands), Tanzania, to understand how their diversity and faunal structure vary in response to water depth, benthic community type, and human impacts. We characterized four distinct ostracod faunas associated with different benthic habitats, which were deep fore reefs, shallow fringing reefs, degraded fringing reefs, and algal covered intertidal flats. We identified typical ostracod associations, i.e., Bairdiidae versus Loxoconchidae-Xestoleberididae, that showed affinities to hard corals or algae on the reef platforms, respectively. Highest diversity was found on shallow fringing reefs where reefal and algal taxa exhibited maximum overlap of their distributional ranges, while the sand flats, mangrove, and marginal reefs within the intertidal zone had much lower diversity with high dominance of euryhaline taxa. Along the western coast of Zanzibar, coastal development likely resulted in a unique faunal composition and comparatively low diversity of ostracod assemblages among those in reefal habitats, in conjunction with overall reef ecosystem degradation. This study represents the first large-scale assessment of shallow-marine ostracods in the Zanzibar Archipelago. It lays a solid foundation for future research into the ecological significance of ostracods on coral reefs.

Skye Yunshu Tian, Martin Langer, Moriaki Yasuhara, and Chih-Lin Wei

Status: open (until 29 Apr 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
Skye Yunshu Tian, Martin Langer, Moriaki Yasuhara, and Chih-Lin Wei
Skye Yunshu Tian, Martin Langer, Moriaki Yasuhara, and Chih-Lin Wei


Total article views: 100 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
80 16 4 100 13 5 3
  • HTML: 80
  • PDF: 16
  • XML: 4
  • Total: 100
  • Supplement: 13
  • BibTeX: 5
  • EndNote: 3
Views and downloads (calculated since 13 Mar 2024)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 13 Mar 2024)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 114 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 114 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 13 Apr 2024
Short summary
Through the first large-scale study of meiobenthic ostracods from the diverse and productive reef ecosystem in Zanzibar Archipelago, Tanzania, we found that the diversity and composition of ostracod assemblages as controlled by benthic habitats and human impacts was indicative of overall reef health, and we highlighted the usefulness of ostracod as a model proxy to monitor and understand the degradation of reef ecosystems from the coral-dominated phase to the algae-dominated phase.