Environmental features and macrofauna of Kahana Estuary, Oahu, Hawaii

Bulletin of Marine Science
By:  and 



Lack of ecological information on Hawaiian estuaries prompted an intensive 2-year study of a small (5.7 ha) stream-mouth estuary on windward Oahu. Water quality and macrofauna were sampled weekly at seven stations. The water mass was strongly stratified vertically except during freshets. Average values for water column temperature and bottom salinity were 23.2°C and 12‰ at the head to 28.3°C and 28‰ at the mouth. Dissolved oxygen saturation in the water column varied from about 50% at night to 140% in the afternoon. Usually, bottom waters were 3–6°C warmer than surface waters and sometimes showed severe oxygen depletion.
Macrofauna, collected primarily by seining, consisted mainly of decapod crustaceans (four species of crabs, seven species of shrimps) and fishes (24 species). Other typical estuarine taxons (mollusks, barnacles, polychaetes) were scarce or absent. Diversity increased seaward from 14 species near the estuary head to 29 species near the mouth. Three species of crustaceans and six of fishes were captured at all stations. Most abundant were the native prawn, Macrobrachium grandimanus, and mullet, Mugil cephalus. Perennially resident adults occurred among crustaceans and gobioid fishes; most other fishes were present as juveniles and sporadic adults. Comparisons with other data suggest that more than 50 species of native fishes may occur in Hawaiian estuaries, and that estuarine macrofaunal diversity on oceanic islands is much lower than on continents at similar latitudes.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Environmental features and macrofauna of Kahana Estuary, Oahu, Hawaii
Series title Bulletin of Marine Science
Volume 31
Issue 3
Year Published 1981
Language English
Publisher University of Miami Press
Publisher location Coral Gables, FL
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 11 p.
First page 712
Last page 722
Country United States
State Hawaii
Other Geospatial Kahana Estuary, Oahu
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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