Fish diversity and assemblages according to distance from source along a coastal river gradient (Ehania River south-east of Ivory Coast)



Fish assemblage was investigated during the study of longitudinal profile of the Ehania River Basin in south-eastern Côte d’Ivoire. This area is subjected to intense human activities with many plantations (palm tree, banana, pineapple, coffee, rubber and cocoa).
Samples were collected, with gillnets of different mesh sizes, through 6 sampling surveys during dry and rainy seasons from February 2010 to December 2010 at 6 sampling sites.
A total of 70 fish species belonging to 48 genera, 28 families and 10 orders were recorded. The temporal variation of diversity index is less marked than spatial variation. The upstream, with 35 species, was less rich in species than the medium area and downstream areas (respectively 46 and 68). The upstream and downstream areas gathered 35 species. Thirty three species were common to the upper and middle areas and 46 species appeared both in the lower courses and the middle area. The 21 species restricted to the lower part of the river are mainly estuarine/marine origin. The beta diversity value revealed low similarity between the lower and upper course of Ehania River. The lowest values of Shannon’s diversity index and equitability index were observed in the middle part of the River which characterized by high population density and intense agricultural activity with many plantations.