The ichthyofauna of the Manche-à-Eau mangrove lagoon was regularly sampled in 2002 with a fixed net at seven stations during 4 months corresponding to two hydrological seasons. Physicochemical variables (depth, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH) and population descriptors (species and family richness, density and biomass) were measured. The Whitefield and the well-being indexes were calculated to appreciate species equilibrium. Canonical correspondence analysis and generalized linear models were used to link species assemblages to physicochemical variables and to search for a special link with salinity. A total of 30,733 individuals belonging to 34 species and 23 families were collected. The Gerreidae, Clupeidae, Engraulidae, Scianidae, and Sparidae represented almost 98% of the total number of individuals. Our results show that organization of the fish assemblages in the lagoon is poorly dependent on salinity, whereas dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH could have a stronger role. Looking at response curves to salinity change, most fishes species appeared to be visitors, either temporarily present or regular migrators. Only a few species compose the year-round resident population. They have a high patrimonial value and could be considered bioindicator species for long-term studies (e.g., of global change and natural or anthropogenic disturbances). The Euclidean distance and biomass variables were not useful descriptors of confinement and biological zonation in the lagoon, whereas the negative gradient of specific richness, number of individuals, Whitefield index, and index of well-being better described confinement. On the basis of these last parameters, biological zonation in the Manche-à-Eau lagoon was established and is provided.
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Vol. 2008 • No. 244