(A Peer Review Journal)
e–ISSN: 2408–5162; p–ISSN: 2048–5170


Pages: 725-732
R. E. Uwadiae

keywords: Benthic macrofauna zonation, ecology, Lagos Lagoon system, salinity gradient


The Lagos Lagoon system consists of many interconnected lagoons situated along the coast of southwest, Nigeria. The system is fed by numerous water bodies and is open all year round via the Lagos harbor and experiences semidiurnal tidal regime. Sea water incursion and freshwater from adjourning rivers determine the salinity of the area. The system experiences freshwater, brackish and marine conditions depending on the season and distance from the harbor. Salinity values generally decreases inland, thereby establishing a salinity gradient. The variation in salinity has resulted in some level of zonation in the distribution of benthic macrofauna. This zonation follows the pattern exhibited by the salinity gradient in the lagoon system. This majorly accounts for the presence of freshwater benthic species in areas farther away from the sea where tidal saltwater influx is weak or absent and true brackish or euryhaline species occur majorly within the central portion of the Lagos Lagoon system. Existence of marine, brackish and freshwater conditions in different parts of the lagoon at different times of the year for long periods sufficient enough to allow temporary colonization by organisms, either from the sea or from the permanent freshwater of rivers and other adjoining water bodies, is a major factor regulating benthic species distribution. The extents to which marine or freshwater species penetrate the brackish area of the lagoon largely depend on their salinity tolerance.


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