Free-living Nematodes in Sarawak Coastal Waters
Researcher: Shabdin Mohd Long, Samsur Mohammad
Nematode communities are important prey component in the marine and estuarine food webs, serving as food sources for higher trophic levels. Nematodes are also known to be sensitive indicator of environmental perturbations. This is due to the characteristics which they possess; such as their occurrence in large numbers, relatively stationary life habits, short generation times, and their ability in accumulating various contaminants.
Nematodes studies in Sarawak, however, are still at the infancy stage. Therefore, fundamental knowledge of the nematodes in this region is very much lacking and these include the taxonomy of the species occurring in Sarawak waters; their patterns of diversity and the relationship between the nematodes community structure; their potential role as pollution bioindicator; and their potential as diet for juvenile fish, prawn, and crab in the aquaculture industry.
In order to answer some of the questions above, a study is conducted to investigate the community structure of nematodes species and its relation to physico-chemical parameters at the Sarawak coastal waters. This study will provide a database on the taxonomy and ecology of free-living nematode species in Sarawak and is important for the purpose of future pollution monitoring in Sarawak coastal waters. Furthermore, several nematode species can be selected from the database for future study; to culture them as an alternative diet in aquaculture industry.