Predicting Coastal Surface Water Quality in Vietnamese Mekong Delta Province using Composition and Diversity of Zoobenthos

IJEP 43(11): 987-997 : Vol. 43 Issue. 11 (November 2023)

Nguyen Thanh Giao* and Le Thi Diem Mi

Can Tho University, College of Environment and Natural Resources, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho city 900000, Vietnam


The study was conducted to assess the quality of surface coastal water in Tien Giang province based on benthic composition. The zoobenthic samples were collected at 9 monitoring stations with a frequency of five times per year. Biodiversity indices including Shannon-Weiner biodiversity index (H’) and Barger-Parker dominance index (D) were applied to assess coastal water quality. A total of 52 species belonging to 7 benthic classes were found, of which the Polychaeta class was the most abundant species. The composition and density of benthic species between the rainy and dry seasons were significantly different. The number of benthic species varied from 4 species (dry season) to 48 species (rainy season) with an average density of 25 individuals/m2 and 114 individuals/m2, respectively. In the dry season, Nereis sp. predominated while Dotilla wichmanni predominated in the rainy season. The values of H’ showed that the composition of benthic species varied from poor diversity in the dry season to good in the rainy season, reflecting the quality of the water from heavy pollution (dry season) to b-mesosaprobic pollution (rainy season). The dominance index (D) showed that the benthic species were very unstable in the dry season to very stable in the rainy season, reflecting the variations of water quality from a-mesosaprobic pollution (dry season) to less pollution (rainy season). The findings presented that seasonal fluctuation of coastal water quality could be related to variations of zoobenthic composition and biodiversity indices.


Coastal areas, Water quality, Zoobenthos, Water pollution, Tien Giang


  1. Devlin, M., et al. 2020. Baseline assessment of coastal water quality, in Vanuatu, South Pacific: Insights gained from in-situ sampling. Marine Poll. Bull., 160:111651-111665.
  2. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. 2021. Report on the state of the national sea and island environment for the period 2016-2020.
  3. Thanh, M. 2016. Prevention and combating marine environmental pollution: Need the cooperation of the people. Available at:
  4. Dung, N.T.P. 2019. Tien Giang fisheries– On the way to development and integration. Available at: .
  5. Custodio, M., et al. 2018. Quality of the aquatic environment and diversity of benthic macroinver-tebrates of high Andean wetlands of the Junín region, Peru. Egyptian J. Aquatic Res., 44:195-202.
  6. Bhadrecha, M.H., N. Khatri and S. Tyagi. 2016. Rapid integrated water quality evaluation of Mahisagar river using benthic macroinvertebrates. Env. Monit. Assess., 188: 254-261.
  7. Kondrateva, T. A. and N. Y. Stepanova. 2019. Assessment of an ecological state of the Kuibyshev reservoir based on zoobenthos indicators. IOP Conf. Series Earth Env. Sci., 288: 012053-012058.
  8. Giao, N. T. 2019. The use of zoobenthos for the assessment of water quality in canals influenced by landfilling and agricultural activity. J. Vietnam Env., 11(2):33-42.
  9. Ammar, I. and C. Hussein. 2016. Assessment of the ecological quality of soft-bottom benthic communities in the Syrian coast, Eastern Mediterranean. Mesopot. J. Marine Sci., 31(2). 95-108.
  10. Lien, N. T. K., et al. 2021. The composition of large invertebrates and regional water quality are affected by aquaculture activities in Hau river. Sci. J. Can Tho University. 57:107-116.
  11. Xu, M., et al. 2013. Effects of pollution on macro-invertebrates and water quality bio-assessment. Hydrobiol., 729:247–259.
  12. Feio, M.J. 2021. The biological assessment and rehabilitation of the world’s rivers: An overview. Water. 13(3):371.
  13. Du, L. V., et al. 2019. Using biological monitoring index of benthic fauna to assess water quality in TraSu forest- An Giang province. Sci. J. Can Tho University. 55:261-269.
  14. Huy, N. Q., et al. 2021. Biodiversity assessment of some aquatic communities indicates the environmental quality of the ecosystems in Mekong estuary. VNU J. Sci. Earth Env. Sci., 37(1):16-27.
  15. Thanh, D. N., T. T. Bai and P.V. Mien. 1980. Identification of North Vietnamese freshwater invertebrates. Science and Technology Publishing House, Hanoi.
  16. Yunfang, H. M. S. 1995. Atlas of freshwater biota in China. Ocean Press, China.
  17. Sangpradub, N. and B. Boonsoong. 2006. Identification of freshwater invertebrates of the Mekong river and its tributaries. Mekong river Commission, Vientiane.
  18. Bouchard, R. W. Jr. 2012. Guide to aquatic invertebrate families of Mongolia: Identification mannual for students, citizen monitors and aquatic resource professionals. University of Minnesota, USA.
  19. Hossain, R. A., M. H. Pramanik and M. Hasan. 2017. Diversity indices of plankton communities in the river Meghna of Bangladesh. Int. J. Fisheries Aquatic Studies. 5(3): 330-334.
  20. Shannon, C. E. and W. Wiener. 1963. The mathematical theory of commications. Univ. Illnois, Urbana.
  21. Nhuong, D. V., et al. 2021. Benthic fauna and assessment of water quality by biological index RAMSAR Van Long, Ninh Binh. J. Sci., Vietnam National University, Hanoi: Earth Env. Sci., 37(4): 11-21.
  22. Berger, W. H. and F. L. Parker. 1970. Diversity of planktonic foraminifera in deep-sea sediments. Sci., 1(3937):1345-1347.
  23. Staub, R., et al. 1970. The effects of industrial wastes on Memphis and Shelby County on primary planktonic producers. Biosci., 20: 905-912.
  24. Anh, L. H. 2008. Thematic proposal of specific biological indicators for the type of watershed ecosystem in Vietnam: Analyze and evaluate the feasibility and availability of data. General Department of Environment.
  25. Lu, S., et al. 2017. Seasonal distribution of macrobenthos and its relationship with environmental factors in Yellow Sea and East China Sea. Chinese J. Oceanol. Limnol., 11 pages.
  26. Hoa, A. V., et al. 2021. Correlation between salinity and substrate properties to polychaeta species composition in Cu Lao Dung, Soc Trang. Vietnam J. Agric. Sci., 19(8):1016-1027.
  27. Musale, A. S. and D. V. Desai. 2011. Distribution and abundance of macrobenthicpolychaetes along the South Indian coast. Env. Monit. Assess., 178(1-4): 423-436.
  28. Oyo-Ita, I. O., et al. 2021. Comparative assessment of the bioremediation potential of polychaetes Lug worm (Arenicola marina sp) and Syllidae worm-(Syllis prolifera sp) in aquaculture pond sediment. Asian J. Appl. Chem. Res., 10(1): 1-13.
  29. Dean, H.K. 2008. The use of polychaetes (Annelida) as indicator species of marine pollution: a review. Revista Biologia Tropical. 56(4):11-38.
  30. Chi, N. T. L., et al. 2020. Diversity of zooplankton and benthic macroinvertebrates of estuarine coastal waters in Tien Giang province, southern Vietnam. Vietnam J. Sci. Tech. Eng., 62(4): 3-7.
  31. Nam, N. X. 2017. Research results on benthic species composition in the coastal area of Thai Binh province. Sci. J. Vietnam National University, Hanoi: Sci. Tech., 33(4): 94-99.
  32. Bich, D.N., N.N. Hang and L.N. Mai. 2022. Biodiversity and habitats of zoobenthos in the coastal zone of Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam. Int. J. Tech. Sci. Res. Eng., 5(2):11-16.
  33. Binh, N. T. and N.C. Van. 2021. Research on species composition and distribution of benthic fauna in the coastal area of Ninh Binh province. Sci. J. Tan Trao University. 22:128-141.
  34. Binh, N. T. and H. N. Khac. 2021. Preliminary study on species composition of zoobenthos on coastal intertidal area in Hai Phong and Cat Ba. Sci. J. Tan Trao University. 24:28-38.
  35. Setiawan, D. 2008. Struktur komunitas makrozo-obenthos sebagai bioindikator kualitas lingkungan perairan hilir sungai Musi. Scientific Repository.
  36. Li, J.W., et al. 2015. Experimental study of bioturbation by Sipunculus nudus in a polyculture system. Aquacul., 437:175-181.
  37. Junwei, L., et al. 2017. Edible peanut worm (Sipunculus nudus) in the Beibu Gulf: Resource, aquaculture, ecological impact and counterplan. J. Ocean Univ. China (Oceanic Coastal Sea Res.). 16: 823-830.
  38. Yokoyama. 1995. Occurrence of Paraprionospio sp. (Form A) larvae (Polychaeta: Spionidae) in hypoxic water of an enclosed bay. Estuarine Coastal Shelf Sci., 40: 9-19.
  39. Wei, M., et al. 2009. Integrated assessment of river health based on water quality, aquatic life and physical habitat. J. Env. Sci., 21:1017-1027.
  40. Arimoro, F.O., et al. 2011. Temporal and spatial variability in macroinvertebrate community structure in relation to environmental variables in Ajijiguan Creek, Niger Delta, Nigeria. African J. Aquatic Sci., 36(1):57-66.
  41. Phukaokaew, S. and C. Sukhsangchan. 2019. Toxicity of water-soluble fraction of crude oil on morphology and behaviour of soldier crabs Dotilla wichmanni de Man, 1892. Phuket mar. biol. Cent. Res. Bull., 76: 63-70.
  42. Binh, L. V. and N. T. T. Thao. 2022. Digestive system characteristics and nutritional requirements of some species of snails of class Gastropoda. Sci. J. Can Tho University. 58(2B):235-247.
  43. Andrianova, A. V. 2020. Assessment of the ecological state of the Boguchany reservoir by zoobenthos organisms. IOP Conf. Series: Earth Env. Sci., 548: 072054-072060.
  44. Etemi, F. Z., et al. 2020. The use of macro-invertebrate based biotic indices and diversity indices to evaluate the water quality of Lepenci river basin in Kosovo. J. Env. Sci. Health: Part A. Toxic/Hazard. Substances Env. Eng., 11 pages.
  45. Lien, N. T. K., H. T. Giang and V. N. Ut. 2014. The composition of zoobenthos (Zoobenthos) in Hau river. Sci. J. Can Tho University. Thematic issue of fisheries (2): 239-247.