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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of a Dam Construction on Subtidal Nematode Communities in the Ba Lai Estuary, Vietnam

Department of Environmental Management and Technology, Institute of Tropical Biology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 85, Tran Quoc Toan, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City 72415, Vietnam
Marine Biology Research Group, Biology Department, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, S8, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Graduate University of Science and Technology, 18, Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay, Hanoi 122300, Vietnam
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(4), 137;
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 29 March 2020 / Accepted: 31 March 2020 / Published: 2 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meiofauna Biodiversity and Ecology)
Nematode communities and relevant environmental variables were investigated to assess how the presence of a dam affects the Ba Lai estuary benthic ecosystem, in comparison to the adjacent dam-free estuary Ham Luong. Both estuaries are part of the Mekong delta system in Vietnam. This study has shown that the dam’s construction had an effect on the biochemical components of the Ba Lai estuary, as observed by the local increase in total suspended solids and heavy metal concentrations (Hg and Pb) and by a significant oxygen depletion compared to the natural river of Ham Luong. The nematode communities were also different between the two estuaries in terms of density, genus richness, Shannon–Wiener diversity, and dominant genera. The Ba Lai estuary exhibited lower nematode densities but a higher diversity, while the genus composition only slightly differed between estuaries. The results indicate that the present nematode communities may be well adapted to the natural organic load, to the heavy metal accumulation and to the oxygen stress in both estuaries, but the dam presence may potentially continue to drive the Ba Lai’s ecosystem to its tipping point. View Full-Text
Keywords: dam impact; estuary; heavy metals; free-living nematodes; density; diversity dam impact; estuary; heavy metals; free-living nematodes; density; diversity
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Yen, N.T.M.; Vanreusel, A.; Lins, L.; Thai, T.T.; Nara Bezerra, T.; Quang, N.X. The Effect of a Dam Construction on Subtidal Nematode Communities in the Ba Lai Estuary, Vietnam. Diversity 2020, 12, 137.

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