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Naga - The ICLARM Quarterly
Vol. 23, No. 4 (October - December 2000)

Features
Biodiversity of Estuarine Fish Faunas in West Africa
E. Baran

Abstract
In West Africa (between Ivory Coast and Sénégal), estuarine environments vary from lagoons to high discharge rivers to inverse hypersaline estuaries. This results in a high diversity of estuarine fish species, with an important turnover and a core of ubiquitous species. The species richness of a given estuary depends on the combination of hydrological factors (marine or freshwater dominance) and biogeography (continental biogeographic regions). The catch rate is higher in lagoons and inverse estuaries than in normal estuaries ,which can be explained by the predominance of small juveniles in the latter. Clupeids are the most abundant fishes all over the region, but different systems have different dominant species. Assessing the functioning of West-African estuaries provides useful comparisons to Asian estuarine systems.

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