THE IMPORTANCE OF GASTROPODS IN MANGROVE ECOSYSTEM
Mangrove forest ecosystem is one of the natural ecosystems with high ecological and economic value. One of its ecological functions is protection for the coast from the ocean waves, wind attacks, habitat for bioorganisms (shelter), feeding ground, nursery ground, and spawning ground for aquatic biota. Mangroves as a place for foraging contribute to the complexity of the habitat and the diversity of macrofauna associated with this ecosystem, such as crabs and mollusks which are the most dominant macrofauna in this ecosystem.
Mollusks are an organism with important ecological functions role in mangrove ecosystems. Mollusks, including gastropods and bivalves, are one of the phyla of macrozoobenthos which can be used as bioindicators in coastal ecosystems. Apart from playing a role in the food chain cycle, there are also types of mollusks that have important economic values, such as various types of shellfish and various types of snails.
Mollusks have a fairly high adaptability in various habitats as they can accumulate heavy metals without dying and act as an indicator of the environment. Mollusks give several benefits for humans including as a source of protein, animal feed ingredients, industrial materials, for jewelry, fertilizers and medicine.
Several types of gastropods living on the coast have been listed by Islamy and Hasan (2020). The location is on the southern part of Pamekasan beach.
Based on the diversity of genus found in the sites, we assume that the study sites are of rich mangrove snails even though the mangrove forest area studied is small. For the evaluation of species diversity, we attempted to compare them with the published data. Comparison on the richness and abundance of mollusks with other regional fauna is complex due to several factors, some of which are difficult to evaluate.
The most challenging factor in the assessment was the completeness of the mangrove snail survey. We assume that there are still many un-surveyed snails at the site. Survey completeness depends on sampling effort and collection methods such as quantitative and semi-quantitative methods.
The sample collection method is designed for to achieve the research objectives. It was therefore not appropriate to compare the number of species from fauna studies with the numbers obtained. Unfortunately, published accounts do not always describe collection methods in details, complicating direct comparisons. The most common substrates where mangrove snails are found are rock, sand, and around mangrove trees and roots. All of the gastropods in this study were found alive during our survey and most were associated with mangroves. (*)
Faculty of Fisheries and Marine UNAIR
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