Water and Estuary

2274 Words May 13th, 2013 10 Pages
An integrated study of the Mpenjati estuary-beach system. (Biological component)
Abstract
A study was carried out to find the abundances of animal organisms between both sides of the Mpenjati estuary. Zooplankton, Macro fauna, Meiofauna and Fish was sampled .Each of the species that reside in the estuary contribute to the diversity of the area and are essentially driving forces, ensuring optimal functioning of the ecosystem. The purpose of sampling such ecosystems is to find out how the interactions amongst these organisms show a relation towards environmental conditions and how they could be affecting the estuary in the abundances that they are found. Samples was collected at different sampling stations were it was collected and
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Macrofauna are benthic organisms and live in the sediment and have been greatly used over much time as indicators of the environmental status in many estuaries and coastal systems. Fish thrive in great abundances along the coast of the Mpenjati estuary and use the estuary as nursery sites for juveniles as there is greater protection and more nutrient rich waters with greater food sources. (Perissinotto et al, 2010).
The main aim of the Mpenjati estuary field trip was to retrieve biomass samples for further analyse and to compare the organism’s living on both sides of the estuaries berm.

Materials and methods
The Mpenjati estuary is a temporarily open/closed estuary which is located approximately 165km Southwest of Durban. The river mouth is generally closed during the winter months and is enclosed by a sand bar separating the saline rich ocean water from the fresh water river. The first sample was obtained around 10:30 am and the last around 2:30 pm on the 4 of August 2012, all samples was received from the beach side. The tide was currently low transitioning into a high tide around 1pm. On field four sampling methods was carried out to retrieve the zooplankton, meiofauna, macrobenthos and fish biomass samples respectively.
Zooplankton
Zooplankton in the surf-zone of the beach was retrieved by gently filtering ocean water through a 20µm nylon mesh. Water was retrieved using a 125 litre plastic bucket and sieved through the mesh, bringing the total volume of
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