Macrofauna and Environment of the Nanpil-Klepw River, Ponape, Eastern Caroline Islands
Abstract:The first comprehensive evaluation of stream fauna in the Eastern Caroline Islands resulted from collections on Ponape, a 334-km2 island having more than 40 streams, many of which arise along 700-m-high interior ridges. Field surveys centered on the Nanpil-Kiepw River below 170 m elevation, a bouldery reach with water of low mineral content and frequent surging flows. Faunal specimens were collected by electrofishing, rotenone treatment, netting, and hand picking. Discharge character of the Nanpil-Kiepw River is similar to but more extreme than that of other streams of Oceania with which it was compared. Drastic flow surges appeared to be a major factor affecting community structure. At least 44 faunal species were present, 36 of them representing taxons primarily of marine origin that are characteristic of oceanic islands: 15 fishes (5 families), 10 decapod crustaceans (3 families), and 11 snails (2 families). Larvae of aquatic moths were the only insects of significance. Four sicydiine gobies are new species possibly endemic to Ponape or the Eastern Caroline Islands. Based on numbers of species within prominent taxons and diadromous groups, Ponape's faunal diversity exceeds that of Samoa, Guam, and Hawaii, but is lower than that of Palau. Similarities of Ponape's identified fish species to those of Palau suggest that Ponape was colonized from the west along the “Caroline conduit”.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1987
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