The Mangrove Ecosystem of the Sudanese Red Sea with Special Reference to Molluscan Ecology and Operculum Regeneration

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Faiza Mohamed Khair, Ahmed
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The present study took into consideration the environmental conditions molluscan ecology and molluscan operculum regeneration and histology. Investigations were restricted to the Sudanese Red Sea coast in pointed sites. Environmental conditions, such as the physico-chemical characteristics of air (e.g. temperature and wind speed); water characteristics such pH, salinity, oxygen, phosphate, silicate, nitrite, nitrate; tide and grain size were measured. Composition and density of plankton, assessed. Regarding the physico-chemical characteristics significant difference (p < 0.05) was only encountered for water salinity and nitrate values at Saukin, Mersa Kilo Tammania and the open sea. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in planktonic density in the (three investigated sites (Suakin, Mersa Kilo Tammania and the open sea except for copepods that showed a significant difference (p < 0.05) at Mersa Kilo Tammania which had sediment texture similar to that of Suakins two zones. All molluscan and Strombus species ecology, reported from sandy shore, was similar to that of the mangrove ecosystem of kilo Tammania. This is with the exception of Littorina scabra which was found in the mangrove ecosystem of Mersa Kilo Tammania. Correlations between the environmental factors and molluscan have been made. The distribution of molluscs in general and the Strombidae in particular were limited by the air temperature and sediment grain size in Mersa Kilo Tammania site. While in Suakin the distribution was limited by air temperature, water depth, and wind speed. For family Strombidae the results have indicated that the, grain size represents the most important ecological distributional factor. Molluscan species abundance results have shown that the evenness index at Suakin sandy shore was lower than that of Mersa kilo Tammania. Operculum regeneration study represnts a successful and pioneer experimantal work. The results have revealed that Strombus tricornis operculum can regenerate under experimental conditions within the natural habitat at the Sudanese Red Sea coast. The process of operculum regeneration has been described. The growth time needed for a removed operculum to retain its original size has been determined and speculated by a derived formula. The success of the piolt operculum regeneration experiment Strombus tricornis motivated the consequent histological inspection. This revealed the organization of metapodium surface structure following removal of the operculum and the associated histological changes during regeneration of the operculum. Quantification of Strombus species fisheries has revealed the environmental hazards caused by overfishing. Finally a model has been constructed formulate a management plan for Strombus resources and their sustain exploitation. Recommendations on the preservation of the mangrove ecosystem the possibility of commercial culturing of Strombus tricornis for flesh, operculum have been highlighted.
The Mangrove Ecosystem of the Sudanese Red Sea with Special Reference to Molluscan Ecology and Operculum Regeneration