Rotifera, Cladocera, Copepoda, and Ostracoda from coastal wetlands in northeast Algeria

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Two wetland complexes in the El Kala area, northeast Algeria, were sampled for zooplankton over a two-month period (mid-May to mid-July 1993). Some samples from 1976 and 1978 were also studied. A total of 98 taxa (51 species of Microcrustacea and 47 species of Rotifera) are recorded. Twenty-seven of these (26.5% overall) are new to Algeria and/or to the Maghreb and Africa. A significant fraction of Afrotropical species was found in all four groups, beside species of northern (European) origin, and at least one cyclopoid copepod with an Irano-Turanian range. These results confirm the El Kala wetlands as an important relict pocket of species of various historical and geographical origin, and highlight the urgency of safeguarding these sites.

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