RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ABUNDANCE OF ZOOPLANKTON

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RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ABUNDANCE OF ZOOPLANKTON AND
PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PARAMETERS IN LAKE MWERU-WANTIPA, ZAMBIA
AONGOLA ANAMUNDA
A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN
MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE
AGRICULTURE OF SOKOINE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE.
MOROGORO, TANZANIA.
2015
ABSTRACT
This study was conducted in Lake Mweru-wantipa aimed at assessing abundance of
zooplankton and its relationships with physico-chemical parameters. Four sampling
stations were selected, two on each side of the Lake; the National Park and settlement. Five
physico-chemical parameters including, temperature, turbidity, salinity, pH and dissolved
oxygen were measured monthly using portable instruments concurrently with collection of
duplet zooplankton samples at each sampling point at depths between 0.1m and 0.5m. All
physico-chemical parameters were significantly different between the two sites (p<0.05)
with the exception of temperature and pH. A total of 13 genera of zooplankton were
identified belonging to four groups namely; rotifers, cladoceran, copepods and ostracods.
The cladoceran had the highest number of species (6) followed by copepods (4) in both
sides. However, the copepods had the largest contribution in terms of abundance in both
sides. The diversity H’ was high in settlement areas but the National park had higher
species richness. There was significant difference in species diversity between the two sites
(t=3.96; p=0.001).The most abundant group was the cyclopoid in both sides of the lake
followed by the Moina on the settlement site and the daphnia sp on the National park site.
The densities of Molina, Simocephalus, Ceriodaphinia and Cypris were significantly
different between the two sites (p<0.05). With the exception of copepods all groups were
significantly different between the two sites (p<0.05). Generally, the total zooplankton
density was not significantly different between the two sites (t=0.73; p=0.06).The results
showed that the zooplankton abundance was clearly influenced by turbidity in settlement
areas and pH in National park areas. Agroforestry practices should be promoted in the
lake’s catchment area in order to reduce sedimentation in the lake and on land
deforestation.
iii
DECLARATION
I, Aongola Anamunda, do hereby declare to the Senate of Sokoine University of
Agriculture that this dissertation is my own original work and has not been submitted to
any other University.
___________________________
Aongola Anamunda
______________________
Date
(M.Sc Student)
The above declaration is confirmed
____________________________
Dr. H. A. Lamtane
(Supervisor)
______________________
Date
iv
COPYRIGHT
No part of this
dissertation
may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means electronically, mechanical, photocopying,
recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the author or that of Sokoine
University of Agriculture in that behalf.
v
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor Dr. H. A. Lamtane for his assistance
in preparation of my research proposal and the writing of my dissertation. I thank him also
for the patience he had exhibited with me during my difficult times I had gone through to
achieve this.
Many thanks also go to the management and staff of the Lake Tanganyika research unit for
allowing me to use their laboratory and the help rendered to me. Thanks also to my
workmates in Kaputa for their help during data collection.
Finally, I thank my Wife for her care and the greatest support rendered to me.
vi
DEDICATION
I dedicate this Master’s of Science Degree Dissertation to my Late Parents, for the greatest
roles they played in my life and may their great souls rest in eternal peace. I also make it a
special dedication to my lovely wife and our two sons for being on my side throughout the
duration of studies.
vii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT............................................................................................................... ii
DECLARATION ..................................................................................................... iii
COPYRIGHT ........................................................................................................... iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ........................................................................................v
DEDICATION ......................................................................................................... vi
LIST OF TABLES .....................................................................................................x
LIST OF FIGURES ................................................................................................. xi
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS .................................................. xii
CHAPTER ONE ........................................................................................................1
1.0 INTRODUCTION ...............................................................................................1
1.1 Problem statement and study justification .............................................................2
1.2 Objectives ..............................................................................................................3
1.2.1 Main Objective .............................................................................................. 3
1.2.2
Specific Objectives .................................................................................. 3
1.3 Hypothesis; ............................................................................................................3
CHAPTER TWO .......................................................................................................4
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW ...................................................................................4
2.1 Biology and Ecology of Zooplankton ....................................................................4
2.2 Species Composition, Diversity and Abundance of Zooplankton .........................5
2.3 Relationships between Zooplankton and Water Quality Parameters. ...................7
viii
CHAPTER THREE .................................................................................................10
3.0 MATERIALS AND METHODS ......................................................................10
3.1 Description of the Study Area .............................................................................10
3.2 Sampling Design ..................................................................................................11
3.3 Data Collection ....................................................................................................12
3.3.1 Zooplankton Sampling ................................................................................ 12
3.3.2 Water Quality Parameters ........................................................................... 12
3.3.3 Zooplankton Laboratory Analysis .............................................................. 12
3.4 Data Processing and Analysis ..............................................................................13
3.4.1 Species Diversity......................................................................................... 13
3.4.2 Density Estimation ...................................................................................... 14
CHAPTER FOUR ...................................................................................................15
4.0 RESULTS ...........................................................................................................15
4.1 Physico-chemical Parameters ........................................................................ 15
4.1.1 Temperature .............................................................................................. 15
4.1.3 Water Salinity .............................................................................................15
4.1.5 Dissolved Oxygen ....................................................................................... 16
4.2 Zooplankton Species Composition and Abundance ..........................................16
4.3 Species Diversity .................................................................................................18
4.4 Density of Zooplankton in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia .................................19
4.5 Relationships between Zooplankton and Physico-chemical Parameters .............21
CHAPTER FIVE .....................................................................................................23
5.0 DISCUSSION .....................................................................................................23
5.1 Physico-chemical Parameters ..............................................................................23
ix
5.2 Zooplankton Species Composition and Diversity ...............................................25
5.3 Zooplankton Density ...........................................................................................27
5.4 Relationships between Zooplankton, Abundance and Physico-chemical
Parameter .............................................................................................................28
CHAPTER SIX ........................................................................................................29
6.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS .............................................29
6.1 Conclusion ...........................................................................................................29
6.2 Recommendations................................................................................................29
REFERENCES ........................................................................................................30
x
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Zooplankton sampling points on the Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia.................. 11
Table 2: Summary of water quality parameters in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia ........... 16
Table 3: Zooplankton groups composition in the Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia ............ 17
Table 4: Zooplankton composition in percentages of Lake Mweru-wantipa in
Zambia ................................................................................................................ 18
Table 5: Diversity, species richness and evenness of zooplankton in Lake Mweruwantipa, Zambia ................................................................................................. 18
Table 6: Density of zooplankton species in the Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia ............... 19
Table 7: The Pearson coefficient of correlation of total zooplankton and physicochemical parameters in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia...................................... 21
Table 8: Regression analysis for zooplankton and physico-chemical parameters on
the settlement area in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia......................................... 22
Table 9: Regression analysis for zooplankton and physico-chemical parameters on
the National park area in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia ................................... 22
xi
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: The Map of Lake Mweru-wantipa showing settlements and National park ........ 10
Figure 2: Mean densities of major zooplankton groups from studied sites in Lake Mweruwantipa, Zambia. .................................................................................................. 20
Figure 3: Density of zooplankton in sampling sites in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia ...... 21
xii
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS
Turb
Turbidity
Temp
Temperature
pH
Expression of Acidity and Alkalinity
DO
Dissolved Oxygen
NTU
Nephelometric Turbidity Units
PPT
Parts Per Thousand
S
South
N
North
E
East
M
Meter
o
Degrees Celsius
mg/l
milligram/liter
NP
National Park
STDEV
Standard Deviation
USEPA
United States Environmental Protection Agency
ZCSO
Zambia Central Statistical Office
NEMS
National Environmental Monitoring Standards
GPS
Geographical Positioning System
C
1
CHAPTER ONE
1.0 INTRODUCTION
Zooplankton consists of macro and microscopic animals, comprising representatives of
almost all major taxa particularly the invertebrates (Gosswami, 2004). Zooplankton can
also be categorised as herbivorous and carnivorous zooplanktons based on their nature of
feeding, and in turn makes up an important food item to other aquatic animals in the higher
trophic levels (Haven, 2002). The zooplankton is an important water quality indicator due
to their shorter life spans combined with their different tolerance levels towards physicochemical parameters (Gajbhiye, 2002). Research has also shown that zooplankton species
have different tolerance limits towards the physico-chemical parameters. Balakrishna et al.
(2013) reported changes of zooplankton species densities as affected by changes in
physico-chemical parameters in different seasons. According to Waikato Environmental
Technical Report (2008) in New zealand, presence of rotifers can be used to grade
eutrophic status of the lakes.
Understanding the patterns of variability of zooplanktons both temporally and spatially
provides a good source of information on the processes affecting them. Physico-chemical
parameters have been reported as one of the source of the variations in species
composition, abundance, diversity and distribution of zooplankton e.g. Imaobong (2013)
reported zooplankton species abundance and distribution was determined by levels of
eutrophication in lakes of Nigeria. Variations in seasonal abundance and diversity as a
result of changes in physico-chemical parameters were also reported by Keder et al.
(2008). Similar studies on the relationship between zooplankton and physico-chemical
parameters have been conducted elsewhere (e.g. Goswami and Mankodi, 2012; Moshood,
2009) in India and Nigeria respectively.
2
Lake Mweru-wantipa is one of the small lakes found in Zambia located in an isolated part
of the country. The lake is a swampy and muddy and has no water outlet though having a
number of small streams flowing into it. The lake’s boundary lies entirely within the
Mweru-wantipa National park. Over the past decade, encroachments have been tolerated
and these have increased to a level where many permanent settlements on the eastern sides
of the lake established. The lake is the main supplier of fish to the residents of remote
districts of Nsama and Kaputa. The settlers apart from fishing have diversified into other
activities such as agriculture, logging and charcoal production within the immediate
catchment of the lake. Despite these stressors developing around it, the lake has received
very little attention from researchers. Lake Mweru-wantipa is also known to have
displayed a series of fluctuations in water levels in the past, which has not really been
explained by variations in rainfall levels and has also been known to have dried out almost
completely at some time in 1916 (Brelsford,1954). The only known study on Lake Mweruwantipa was on the biology and exploitation of small pelagic fishes by Mubamba (1989).
There is a little information if any on the zooplankton abundance as well as water quality
of Lake Mweru-wantipa. Therefore, the present study aimed at assessing some physicochemical parameters of water and its relationship with the abundance of zooplankton in the
Lake Mweru-wantipa.
1.1 Problem statement and study justification
The two districts Nsama and Kaputa sharing Lake Mweru-wantipa are homes to two
National parks namely Nsumbu and Mweru-wantipa bordering them on either side. Tsetse
fly infestation from these National parks and proximity to homesteads made the rearing of
larger livestock impossible. This made Lake Mweru-wantipa as the main supplier of
animal protein in form of fish to these districts. The growing number of human population
around the lake has not just brought about over fishing but also increasingly large areas
3
close to the lake being opened up for agriculture purposes thus leading to deforestation in
the catchment area of the lake. These have increased siltation in the lake as evidenced by
the poor transparency of the lake. Studies on the relationship between zooplankton and
physico-chemical parameters have been done in the nearby lakes (e.g. Nkotagu and
Athuman, 2007) in the Lake Tanganyika but there is limited information on zooplankton of
Mweru-wantipa. A zooplankton study and its relationship to physico-chemical parameters
will provide an insight into the current limnological status of Lake Mweru-wantipa which
has never been done. This will be very valuable baseline information for researchers and
government agencies interested in the management of the lake.
1.2 Objectives
1.2.1 Main Objective
The overall objective of the study was to investigate species composition, abundance,
diversity of zooplankton and their relation to physico-chemical parameters in Lake Mweruwantipa, Zambia.
1.2.2 Specific Objectives
(i) To determine dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, salinity and pH of the Lake.
(ii) To determine species composition, abundance and diversity of zooplankton in the
lake.
(iii)To determine the relationship between the physico-chemical parameters and
abundance of zooplankton in the lake.
1.3 Hypothesis;
i.
There is significant difference in species composition, diversity and abundance of
zooplankton between the settlement and the National park sides of the lake.
ii.
There is a significant relationship between zooplankton abundance and the selected
physico-chemical parameters in the lake.
4
CHAPTER TWO
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Biology and Ecology of Zooplankton
Zooplanktons are microscopic animals found in both marine and freshwater ecosystems
and their sizes may range from a few microns to a millimeter or more (Goswami, 2004).
The major zooplankton groups found in most tropical fresh water Lakes are the rotifers,
cladoceran, copepods and ostracods (Witty, 2004). The zooplanktons play a very important
role in the aquatic system due to their link between phytoplankton and higher trophic
levels (Gajbhiye, 2002). Their composition of proteins, minerals, fatty acids, lipids
provides an important source of feed for fish (Kribia et al., 1997 in Khalid, 2012). The
zooplankton responds to different types of stresses in different ways, therefore they are
increasingly used as biological indicators in aquatic ecosystems (Wanessa et al., 2008) and
Okorafor et al. (2013).
Rotifers are distinguishable by their elongated body, head, and trunk and have ciliated
parts on the corona that direct food into the mouth, while their food consists of particulate
organic detritus, protozoan and algae (Glime, 2013). Their mode of reproduction is asexual
through cyclical parthogenesis, though a few exhibit sexual reproductions (Glime, 2013).
Rotifers have widely been used as biological indicators in studies due to their sensitivity to
different levels of water quality parameters (Radix et al., 2002).
Unlike rotifers, copepods and cladoceran have segmented bodies with an exoskeleton
which has jointed appendages (Shiel, 1995). Apart from smaller zooplanktons both
cladoceran and copepods feed on a wide range of organisms including algae and reproduce
sexually though, cladoceran predominantly reproduce asexually (Forro et al., 2008).
5
Copepods are one group of crustacean that passes through a series of nauplius and
copepodid stages before becoming adults (Marten and Reid, 2009).
Copepods unlike other zooplanktons have a much wider adaptation to unfavorable climate
(Reid and Williamson, 2010) and are also reported to be the most abundant members of the
zooplankton population. Cladoceran on the other hand are reported to be the most
abundant in freshwater (Forro et al., 2008). Many small copepods feed on phytoplankton,
while some larger ones may be predators and feed on detritus or bacteria. Both copepods
and cladoceran’s abundance is much dependent on availability of enough variable foods
and favourable temperature (Sharma et al., 2013).
Ostracods are found in almost all aquatic environments such as marine, brackish waters
and fresh water (Martens et al., 2008). They are mainly benthic and also occur in semiterrestrial environments (Pieri et al., 2009). Their bodies are flat on either side with a
hinged bivalve chitinous shell and have a smooth, thin calcified bean shaped carapaces
with a body not clearly distinguished in to segments like the other crustaceans (Gobert,
2012). Ostracods reproduce sexually and also asexually depending on the environmental
conditions and pass through several growth stages to the final adult stage. They feed on a
variety of feeds such as detritus, bacteria and diatoms (Pieri et al., 2009). Unlike other
crustaceans, the outer shell of ostracods is hard and easily fossilfied and hence are known
to have the most complete fossil record and because of this are increasingly being used as
paleo-environmental indicators (Rodriguezi and Ruiz, 2012)
2.2 Species Composition, Diversity and Abundance of Zooplankton
Zooplankton species composition varies from one area to another within the same
geographical areas (Jonathan et al., 2000). These are also known to vary from one season
6
to another influenced by the physico-chemical and biological factors (Perumal et al.,
2009). The interactions and effects which these have on different zooplankton species
ultimately determine the zooplankton structure in a given niche within a geographical area
(Sorsa, 2008). Seasonal variations of physico-chemical water parameters can have a
significant effect on zooplankton species composition, due to different tolerances exhibited
by different zooplankton species towards the seasonal changes in water parameters
(Olasehinde and Abeke, 2012) in Ikere gorge, Nigeria.
Within a given water body, certain zooplankton species may be predominantly found in
certain areas and may be less or absent in another areas. For example, Kapusta and
Kapusta (2013) reported that, cladoceran preferred macrophytes rather than open waters to
get away from heated waters and copepods are also known to graze in open waters while
the rotifers prefer the littoral zones. Nan and Run (2014) reported large densities of rotifers
in littoral zones than open waters most previous studies. In addition, dominance of certain
zooplankton species was reported to be due to naturally varying flows of water and
sediment in aquatic systems (Ezekiel et al., 2011).
The abundance and diversity is also affected by the changes in physico-chemical and
biological factors in different seasons. A study on the abundance and diversity of
zooplankton by Jadobendro et al. (2013) showed that there is positive correlation in
zooplanktons populations with water temperatures. Such a positive correlation means that
zooplankton species abundances would increase in density during high water temperatures.
According to Mzime et al. (2010) in African tropical lakes, environmental factors
particularly the physico-chemical parameters including the thermal stratification in deeper
lakes greatly affect primary and secondary production. In most tropical lakes, differences,
due to high temperatures, light and nutrients occurring throughout the year, zooplankton
7
populations remain fairly the same throughout the year with little variations (Papa et al.,
2011). In addition to environmental factors, in sites prone to drying during some months of
the year it is most likely going to have lower zooplankton levels (Krylov et al., 2011).
Depth of water bodies affects productivity of zooplankton (Bartram and Balance, 1996).
Vadeboncoeur et al. (2008) also reported that poor light penetration leads to lower
phytoplankton production resulting into lower zooplankton abundances. Zooplankton
species abundances and diversity are also shaped by biological factors e.g. Villa et al.
(1997) reported that interactions between the phytoplankton and zooplankton have a direct
influence on the zooplankton abundances. According to Heidi and Peter (2010) species
preference and size of phytoplankton by the zooplankton affects the zooplankton
distribution, species composition, abundance and diversity.
Interspecific and intraspecific interactions between zooplankton species have an effect on
their abundance, diversity and species composition (Declerck et al., 2003). Cladoceran and
rotifers strongly compete for same limited resources and thus limiting the abundance of
rotifers (Kirk and Gilbert, 1990). Animals in higher trophic levels were found to negatively
affect zooplankton populations (Nicolle et al., 2011). The introduction of Limnothrissa
miodon in the Lakes of Kariba and Cahora Bassa, were such examples where it has been
reported that there is an effect on the zooplankton populations of the lakes (Marshall,
1991). A similar report has been given by Isumbisho et al. (2006) on Lake Kivu.
2.3 Relationships between Zooplankton and Water Quality Parameters.
Studies in zooplankton abundance and diversity have traditionally been done alongside the
physico-chemical parameters (Chapman et al., 1996). Ramachandra et al. (2006) in
Bangalore Lakes, India, found that different zooplankton species respond differently to
8
different physico-chemical parameters outside their tolerant limits. The shorter life span,
short generation time and species sensitivity to different levels of physico-chemical
parameters have made zooplankton an ideal biological indicator (Ferdous and Muktadir,
2009) in India.
The relationship between the zooplankton and physico-chemical parameters has been
found to be responsible for the differences in species composition, abundance and diversity
(Anago et al., 2013). Basu et al. (2013) and Sharma (2011) in India reported positive
correlations between zooplankton abundance and water transparency. Since different
zooplankton species respond differently to different physico-chemical parameters and
within their tolerant limits, the populations of zooplankton species tend to be shaped in part
by these water quality parameters. This is so because zooplankton species tend to perform
better within their optimum ranges of water quality parameters. For example, cladoceran
tend to be highly sensitive against even to very low concentrations of pollutants while
copepods are the most tolerant towards pollution (Ramachandra et al., 2006). Such relative
tolerances towards these stressors e.g. excess nutrient input in aquatic ecosytem lead to
sparse and temporal variations of zooplankton species, composition and diversities. Qin et
al. (2013) reported that eutrophication reduces zooplankton diversity in aquatic systems.
Omowaye et al. (2008) and Shashikanth and Vijagkumar (2009) reported that abundance
and distribution among zooplankton communities can be due to variations in water quality
parameters. Some researchers have demonstrated that specific water quality parameters
have effects on certain zooplankton species (e.g. Koenigs et al., 1990). These authors
demonstrated that turbidity can be directly responsible for reduced survival in Daphnia.
Anthropogenic activities have been found to be responsible for many acute changes in the
water quality parameters of many water bodies including eutrophication due to nutrients
drained from agricultural and or municipalities (Kraemer et al., 2001). Excess inorganic
9
nutrients have been responsible for many drastic changes that have been observed in
zooplankton structures in affected water bodies.
Arimoro and Oganah (2010) and
Gammanpila (2010) reported that anthropogenic activities strongly influenced the
abundance of zooplankton.
In environments without external influences, zooplanktons are distributed according to
environmental preferences and are further regulated by changes in climatic condition. For
example, Veerendra et al. (2012) reported that species richness of aquatic system is due to
the prevailing environmental conditions. Uzma et al. (2012) reported that zooplankton
abundance and species distribution depends on favourable climatic conditions.
10
CHAPTER THREE
3.0 MATERIALS AND METHODS
3.1 Description of the Study Area
The research was conducted in Lake Mweru-wantipa located in the Northern Province of
Zambia. The lake is located between coordinates 8o 10’S to 9o10’S and 29o00’E to 30o
00’E. The size of the lake is 73 km long, 43 km width and has an average depth of two
meters (Frame Survey Report, 2004).
Figure 1: The Map of Lake Mweru-wantipa showing settlements and National park
Though, the lake has a number of inlets that bring in water, it has no outlet. The western
side is boarded by National park (Fig. 1). The lake is shared by two districts namely
Nsama and Kaputa whose main source of livelihoods is fishing and agriculture. The area
falls within agro ecological zone (III) which is characterized by humid subtropical climate
with warmest temperature of about 32oC in October and coolest temperatures of about 5oC
11
in July (Chabala et al., 2013). The districts normally experiences two seasons yearly which
are dry and wet seasons; the dry season normally starts in May and runs through October
while the wet season starts from November to April. The region receives an average
rainfall of 1000 – 1500 mm and has strong acidic soils with low nutrients caused by high
rainfall (Paul, 2008).
3.2 Sampling Design
Four sampling stations were chosen across the midsection of the lake, two on the western
side of the lake nearer to the National Park, and two on the eastern side of the lake nearer
to the human settlements. The sampling points were identified and marked using a
geographical positioning system (GPS).
Table 1: Zooplankton sampling points on the Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia
National
Park
Settlement
areas
Sampling stations
1
2
3
4
GPS coordinates
08o36’0”S,
08o37’54.3”S,
08o40’19.8”S,
08o41’23.0”S,
029o40’04.1”E 029o42’03.7”E
029o44’37.3”E
029o47’03.3”E
0.64m
2.0m
2.3m
Water depth
0.95m
Table 1 shows the coordinates of the sampling stations and the depths of the water columns
respectively. The water samples were collected at the first week of each of the three
sampling months, in the mornings between 08hrs and 12hrs, to ensure that sampling is
equally spaced as possible. The physico-chemical parameters were measured at sampling
sites concurrently with collection of zooplankton water samples below the water surface.
The first sampling took place at the first week of November 2013 and the last sampling
was done during the first week of January 2014.
12
3.3 Data Collection
3.3.1 Zooplankton Sampling
A graduated 10 liter bucket with a mouth diameter of 20 cm was used to sample
zooplankton just below the water surface at depths between 0.1 to 0.5m. One scope of the
bucket was taken vertically each time and filtered through 100 µm zooplankton net.
Samples were collected in duplicates. The zooplankton samples were stored in 100ml
plastic bottles preserved with 4% formaldehyde. The bottles were kept in cooler boxes and
transported to the laboratory of the Department of fisheries located at Lake Tanganyika in
Mpulungu, Zambia.
3.3.2 Water Quality Parameters
Five physico-chemical parameters were measured during sampling using electronic
portable instruments. Dissolved oxygen (DO) and salinity were measured using instrument
YSI Model 54 ABP, model 54 ARC and Salinometer HI 8033 respectively. Turbidity was
measured with a Hach turbidity meter model 2100A with precision + Nephelometric
Turbidity Units (NTU). pH was measured using a pH meter (WTH 323), while temperature
was measured using a Hanna temperature probe (HI 9143).
3.3.3 Zooplankton Laboratory Analysis
A Labovert FS Microscope with a magnification x40 was used in examination of the
zooplankton. The zooplankton identification was done using identification guides by
Utzugi and Mazingaliwa (2002) and Scourfield and Harding (1966). Standard Operating
Procedure for Zooplankton Analysis guidelines by the United States Environmental
Protection Agency (USEPA, 2010) were used to analyze the zooplankton in the laboratory.
Samples were thoroughly mixed and a 1ml subsample was withdrawn with a pipette. One
ml subsamples with much fewer organisms were discarded until consistent high
13
zooplankton numbers was achieved in the subsamples. A zooplankton counting chamber
was used for counting the identified zooplankton species. Zooplanktons were identified up
to generic level.
3.4 Data Processing and Analysis
A Student t-test was used to determine the difference between the means of the
zooplankton density and physico-chemical parameters on the two sides of the lake. The
biodiversity index used to determine the species diversity of zooplankton was Shannon Weaver (1949) in Spellerberg and Fedor (2003). The Hutchingson (1970) t-test was used
to determine the difference between the diversities between the two sides of the Lake.
Pearson’s correlation (r) analysis was used to investigate whether there is a relationship
between physico-chemical parameters to zooplankton abundance. A multiple regression
analysis was used to investigate the cause and effect between the zooplankton abundance
physico-chemical parameters. The regression model used was Yi = βo + β1X1 + β2X2 +
β3X3 + β4X4 + β5X5 + ei
3.4.1 Species Diversity
Species diversity was calculated using the Shannon Weaver Index (1949).
The following formula was used;
H’= -∑ (Pi*In (Pi)) where Pi = ni/N
In = the natural log
Pi = Proportion of total sample belonging to the ith specie
ni = total number of individuals in a specie
N = total number of individuals
E = H’/Hmax where Hmax = In(S) measures the species evenness
(S) = the total number of individual distinct peaks within a profile (Species richness)
14
E = measures the species evenness
Hmax = measures the maximum evenness the community can have, the closer is this to
one, means the community is optimally even.
Eexp H = Effective Number of Species
3.4.2 Density Estimation
Population density was calculated from known densities using the following formula by
Lackey (1938); Tonapi, (1980) in Gajanan & Satish (2014).
Density = (n) (v) / V
Where;
Density = Total no. of organization / litre of water filtered
n = Average number of organisms in a 1ml plankton sample
v = Volume of concentrate plankton sample (ml)
V = Volume of total water filtered through (L)
15
CHAPTER FOUR
4.0 RESULTS
4.1 Physico-chemical Parameters
4.1.1 Temperature
There was slightly difference in temperature between the two sampling sites (Table 2).
However, there was no significant difference in water temperature between the study sites
(t=0.586; p=0.559).
4.1.2 Turbidity
The mean and range of turbidity recorded from settlement side and National park are
presented in Table 1. The highest turbidity value of 2.7 NTU was recorded on the
settlement side while the lowest value of 0.4 NTU was recorded on the National park side.
The difference in turbidity between the two sides of the lake was significant (t=-5.61;
p=0.001).
4.1.3 Water Salinity
The lowest (3.5 ppt) and highest (4.6 ppt) salinity were recorded from the settlement and
National park sides respectively. There was significant difference in salinity between
National Park and settlement (t=12.569; p=0.001).
4.1.4 pH
The highest pH value (9.9) during the study was recorded from both sides of the lake,
while the lowest (9.2) on the settlement side (Table 2). There was no significant difference
in pH values between the two studied sites (t=-2.91; p=0.06).
16
4.1.5 Dissolved Oxygen
The lowest and highest dissolved oxygen concentration was 1.2mg/l and 12.1mg/l
measured from the National park and settlement side of the lake respectively (Table 2).
The oxygen concentrations on the settlement side were significantly higher than the
National park side (t=-3.66; p=0.001).
Table 2: Summary of water quality parameters in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia
Parameters
Depth (m)
Temperature
(oC)
Turbidity
(NTU)
National Park
Mean
Range
Settlement areas
Mean
Range
0.8 ± 0.2
0.6 – 0.1
2.1± 6
2.0 – 2.3
27.8 ± 3.7a
19.8 -31.4
27.4 ± 0.79a
26.5 -28.8
1.4 ± 0.6a
0.4 – 2.2
1.95 ± 0.5b
1.4 – 2.7
Salinity (ppt)
4.1 ± 0.3a
3.9 – 4.6
3.6 ± 0.2b
3.5 – 4.0
pH
9.5 ± 0.2a
9.2 – 9.9
9.6 ± 0.3a
9.2 – 9.9
D O (mg/L)
5.6 ± 3.1a
1.2 – 9.4
7.6 ± 2.6b
4.4 – 12.1
Note: Means within the same row with different superscript letters differ significantly at p<0.05,
DO = dissolved oxygen
4.2 Zooplankton Species Composition and Abundance
A total of 13 zooplankton genera from four major groups namely; cladoceran, copepods,
ostracods and rotifers were recorded during the present study (Table 3). The National Park
side of the lake had the highest number of genera compared to the settlement side. In both
sides of the lake, the cladoceran had the highest number of individual group followed by
copepods. Rotifers were absent from settlement side of the lake.
17
Table 3: Zooplankton groups composition in the Lake Mweru-wingtip, Zambia
Taxonomic group Total no. of taxa
Percentage composition
NP
ST
NP
ST
Cladocera
6
5
46
56
Copepoda
4
3
31
33
Rotifer
2
0
15.4
0
Ostracoda
1
1
7.6
11
Total
13
9
100
100
NP = National park, ST = settlement areas
Table 4 shows that the cyclopoids had the highest relative abundance in both sides of the
lake followed by Moina on the settlement sides and Daphnia on the National park side.
The Moina ranked third on the National park side. The lowest relative abundance recorded
was rotifers.
18
Table 4: Zooplankton composition in percentages of Lake Mweru-wantipa in Zambia
Taxa
Genus
Settlements
Moina
20
12.1
11.1
10.3
Simocephalus
2.5
0.4
Ceriodaphnia
2.5
1
Crystallina
1.6
1.2
Chydorus
0
0.2
Cyclopoid
38.8
46.6
Calanoid
11.8
14
Ergasilus
4.7
4.3
Angusilus
0
0.2
Branchionus
0
1
Rotifer
Conochilus
0
0.2
Ostracoda
Cypris
6.8
8.4
Daphnia
Cladocera
Copepoda
National park
4.3 Species Diversity
Table 5: Diversity, species richness and evenness of zooplankton in Lake Mweruwantipa, Zambia
Diversity Index parameter
SAMPLING STATIONS
National Park
settlement
Species diversity (H)’
1.50
1.76
Species richness
13
9
Species evenness (E)
0.58
0.76
Effective Number of Species
5
6
H’= is the Shannon weaver diversity index
19
Shannon weaver diversity index indicated a higher diversity of zooplankton on the
settlement side. A Hutcheson t-test showed that there was a significant difference in
zooplankton species diversity (t=3.96; p=0.001) between the two study sites. The species
richness was higher on the National park compared to the settlements. The species
evenness and the effective number of species were greater on the settlements (Table 5).
4.4 Density of Zooplankton in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia
Table 6: Density of zooplankton species in the Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia
Taxa
Cladocera
Copepod
Rotifer
Genus
Settlement
National park
Moina
46.7±16.86a
20.67±15.63b
Daphnia
25.4±5.55a
28.8±3.51a
Simocephalus
6.25±6.25a
1.67±1.64b
Ceriodaphinia
5.84±3.67a
2.08±2.1b
Crystallina
3.75±2.45a
2.5±2.49a
Chydorus
-
0.5±0.42
Cyclopoid
90.4±12.16a
88.75±21.18a
Calanoid
27.5±12.06a
27.5±7.1a
Ergasilus
10.84±5.65a
10±4.08a
Angusilus
-
0.5±0.42
-
2.08±1.63
-
0.4±0.42
20.9±7.19a
17.16±7.56b
Branchionus
Conochilus
Ostracod
Cypris
Means within the same row with different superscript letters differ significantly at p<0.05
With the exception of Moina, Simocephalus, Ceriodaphnia and Cypris, all other species
densities were not significantly different between the study sites (Table 5).
20
Figure 2: Mean densities of major zooplankton groups from studied sites in Lake
Mweru-wantipa, Zambia.
The copepods had the highest densities on both sampling sites followed by cladoceran.
The least density was rotifers recorded from both sites (Figure 2). T-tests showed that the
densities of all the groups were significantly different between the sites except copepods
(p=0.78). Generally the settlement had higher zooplankton densities compared to National
park site (Figure 3). However, there was no significant difference on total zooplankton
density between the two sites (t=-0.729; p=0.06).
21
Figure 3: Density of zooplankton in sampling sites in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia
4.5 Relationships between Zooplankton and Physico-chemical Parameters
Table 6 shows the relationships between the zooplankton and physico-chemical
parameters. Temperature, salinity and pH showed negative relationship with zooplankton
abundance. Generally, with the exception of turbidity and pH, there was no significant
correlation between zooplankton abundance and physico-chemical parameters.
Table 7: The Pearson coefficient of correlation of total zooplankton and physicochemical parameters in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia
Particulars
Co-efficient of correlation (r)
P value
Remarks
0.380
-0.046
-0.327
0.151
-0.149
0.000
0.63
0.000
0.115
0.121
S
NS
S
NS
NS
Turbidity
Temperature
pH
Dissolved oxygen
Salinity
NS = Not Significant, S = Significant
There were significant relationships between total zooplankton and turbidity on the
settlement and pH on the National park (Tables 8 & 9).
22
Table 8: Regression analysis for zooplankton and physico-chemical parameters on
the settlement area in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia
Predictor
Coefficients
Constant
-77.7
Turbidity
11.86
Temperature
0.37
pH
6.08
Dissolved oxygen
-0.33
Salinity
-0.40
S = Significant, NS = Significant
P-value
0.47
0.04
0.81
0.49
0.51
0.96
Remark
S
S
NS
NS
NS
NS
Table 9: Regression analysis for zooplankton and physico-chemical parameters on
the National park area in Lake Mweru-wantipa, Zambia
Predictor
Coefficient
P-value
Remark
Constant
200.70
0.06
NS
Turbidity
2.70
0.64
NS
Temperature
0.89
0.47
NS
pH
-23.59
0.04
S
Dissolved oxygen
0.61
0.57
NS
Salinity
0.08
0.99
NS
S = Significant, NS = Not Significant
23
CHAPTER FIVE
5.0 DISCUSSION
5.1 Physico-chemical Parameters
Lake Mweru is a shallow and smaller lake, bordered by a National park on the western
side, while the eastern, southern and northern sides of the Lake’s are settlement areas. The
major economic activities in the settlement areas are agriculture and fishing. The fisheries
frame survey report of Lake Mweru-wantipa by Zambia Central Statistical Office (Frame
Survey Report, 2004) showed that there has been an immense increase in the number of
fishing villages around the Lake. Improper agriculture practices and deforestation lead to
land degradation and alteration of physico-chemical parameters of the Lake. Yorke and
Margai (2007) in Ayivor and Gordon (2012) reported that population growths and
developmental activities along water bodies in many sub Saharan countries have been
responsible for negative changes in water quality parameters.
Marginal differences in water temperature recorded on the two studied sides of the lake
were probably due to shallowness of the lake (Table 2). The depth of water bodies has
potential to effect variations in physico-chemical parameters including temperature and
dissolved oxygen. Shallow waters generally warm easier and quicker compared to deeper
lakes. Stefanidis and Papastergiadou (2012) conducted a study in the Greek lakes and
reported that variations in some water quality parameters can be due to morphometric
measurements of water bodies. The homogeneity in temperature in shallow lakes has been
achieved through regular mixing and stirring. This phenomenon has been recorded in other
shallow lakes including Edward and George in Uganda (Otim, 2005).
The higher turbidity recorded from settlement side of the lake is probably due to improper
agriculture practices and deforestation. Agricultural activities along the catchment of the
24
lake lead to erosion and hence high turbidity in the lake from the runoff. High turbidity has
been reported in Birim river basin in Ghana (Ansah and Asante, 2000) and in Lake
Victoria (Scheren et al., 2001) due to improper agricultural activities. Conversion of land
to agriculture has been reported as one of the drivers to deterioration of aquatic systems
(e.g. Rucha et al., 2011; Yorke & Magai, 2007) in India and Ghana respectively. The loose
soils as a result of removal of vegetative cover are washed into aquatic systems may create
turbid and eutrophic conditions.
Relatively lower water depth on the national park side was the contributing factor towards
high salinity (Table 2). Shallow areas are generally more prone to drying up due to
evaporation, and then the salts become concentrated as the water drops. As the lake
recedes, the dried salt looks like white patches on the dried shore line. Saravanakumar et
al. (2007) in India reported that changes in salinity can be due to loss of water through
evaporation and rainfall. Surprisingly, salinity levels recorded in the present study (Table
2) were similar to those in brackish waters reported along the estuaries in Sri lanka
(Gammanpila, 2010). However, salinity levels below 5.0 ppt are within the fresh water
range (USEPA, Standard Operating Procedures, 1986). Lakes are considered saline when
they have salinity above 3 ppt (Robert et al., 2008).
The stirring and mixing of the lake and its small size could also be attributed to the
uniformity in pH values across the lake. Small size, low depth and wind have been
reported as parameters promoting water mixing (Omondi et al., 2014) in small water
bodies of Kenya. The present findings on pH values (Table 2) were similar to those
obtained by Otim (2005) on Nile basin in Uganda. However, the mean pH values obtained
in the present study (Table 2) were slightly above the optimum aquatic range of 6.5 to 9.0
(USEPA, 1986). The higher pH values could probably explained in part as a result of
25
higher primary production. Green colour was observed on the entire surface of the lake
during the sampling period. Tucker and Dabramo (2008) Waters with high algae content
results into intense photosynthesis during the day, thereby, carbon dioxide is used up in the
process resulting in high pH values. A similar finding was reported by Savala et al. (1999)
in the Lake Tanganyika. In contrast, lower pH values (6.3 to 6.9) were reported in Lake
Bangweulu, Zambia (Kolding, 2011). Higher pH levels (>10) is harmful as they increase
ammonia toxicity to fish and other organisms in aquatic systems (Rossana, 2013)
Significant differences in dissolved oxygen between the study sites might have been due to
a number of biotic and abiotic factors in the Lake. Occasional short duration winds that
swept the water surfaces have been observed to take place several times in a day during
sampling period. These could lead to spatial differences within shorter distances. Probably
the differences in depth of water could also contribute to differences in dissolved oxygen
levels since photosynthesis is one of the major sources of dissolved oxygen. The National
Environmental Monitoring Standards (NEMS, 2013) reported that dissolved oxygen is
negatively affected by salinity thus, the lower oxygen levels on the National park could
have been also due to the significant higher salinity observed in the present study (Table
2). The present findings are similar to those obtained in Lake Tanganyika by Savala et al.
(1999). The dissolved oxygen levels recorded in the present study (Table 2) were within
limits of natural background level of 5.0 to 7.0 mg/l that supports aquatic life.
5.2 Zooplankton Species Composition and Diversity
In the present study, the cladoceran dominated in terms of species number followed by
copepods. This concurs with the findings of Abubakar (2013) in Nguru Lake, Nigeria.
Ghidini et al. (2009) conducted a similar study in Brazil and concluded that since most
cladoceran species are herbivorous and phytoplankton feeders, they are able to develop in
26
many fresh water environments. Kishe – Machumu et al. (2008) reported that cladoceran
are more vulnerable to predation owing to their large size, conspicuous eyes and their
mode of movement making them more attractive prey easy targets for capture. Low
transparency of Lake Mweru-wantipa could have led to less predation making cladoceran
to flourish.
The dominance of copepods among zooplankton in fresh water has been also reported in
Lake Victoria (Ngupula, 2013; Ajounu, 2011). In the present study, the cyclopoids (Table
6) showed higher relative abundance compared to other zooplankton. Similar findings have
been reported by Silva (1998) in Patricio et al. (2010); Waya and Mwambungu (2004) in
Chilean inland waters and Lake Victoria respectively. Cyclopoids can survive in most
kinds of fresh water habitats in the Neotropics. This can be explained by their feeding
behavior; they are grasping feeders that generally eat variety of food than other
zooplankton (Irvine & Waya, 1992), while the calanoids are limited by their selective and
herbivorous nature. The ostracods are not so commonly captured in many zooplankton
studies due to their benthic nature (Martens et al., 2008). Contrary to the present study
(Table 6) Devaraju (2015) found four taxa of ostracods 14 taxa in a major tropical lake of
Mandya district Karnataka. Rotifers constituted the lowest contribution among all
zooplankton in the present (Table 4). In contrast, rotifers were among dominant taxa in
Lake Victoria Basin with 18 species (Waya & Chande, 2004). Rotifers appear to be
protected from predation owing to their diminutive size, which offer low caloric value as
prey besides being not easily visible to the predators.
Shannon Weaver diversity index showed higher diversity of zooplankton on the settlement
side, and the Hutcheson t-test showed a significant difference between the two sides. The
diversity difference probably could be due to the high species evenness on the settlement
27
side (Table 5). Also higher salinity on the National park could have been responsible for
low diversity of zooplankton. Nielsen et al. (2003) reported that zooplankton diversity has
been reduced at salinities between 1 to 5 ppt. Low species richness on the settlement side
(Table 5) could be a reflection of the high turbidity compared to National park areas.
Ghidini et al. (2009) in the study of eutrophic shallow reservoir in Brazil reservoirs made a
similar observation. The species richness in the present study (Table 5) was generally poor
compared to other studies conducted elsewhere; e.g. Ezekiel et al. (2011) in a tropical lake
in Nigeria found 17 species belonging to six taxonomic groups, Brazil. However, similar
results have been found by other workers, e.g. Omuwaye et al. (2011) in Nigeria, reported
only 11 species belonging to three groups of zooplankton.
5.3 Zooplankton Density
Differences in zooplankton densities were observed between the two studied sites (Table
6). These could have been due to the differences in physico-chemical parameters and to
depth between the two sites (Table 2). The lower densities of rotifers on the National park
side and absence on settlement areas compared to other groups could be attributed to
higher turbidity in the lake which was significantly high in settlement areas and to salinity
and pH which were significant higher in settlement areas. These factors are well known in
limiting the abundance and diversity of zooplankton (Harris and Vinobaba, 2012).
Contrary to the present findings (Table 6), Gammanpila et al. (2010) in a Sri lankan lagoon
reported higher proportions of rotifers (11% to 37%) compared to other groups of
zooplankton. However, similar results of zooplankton total densities in studied sites have
been reported by Gammanpila et al. (2010) in Sri lanka, whose densities were in the range
of 87 to 298/l. The higher copepod density compared to other zooplankton has been
reported by Ekwu and Sikoki (2005) found crustacean compositions of 74% (copepod 17
taxa & cladocera 11taxa) in lower estuary in Nigeria. The highest density of cyclopoids in
28
freshwater has also been reported by other workers elsewhere e.g. Ngupula (2013) reported
that cyclopoids had dominated by 73%. In contrast to the present findings (Table 6) the
highest contribution of Moina has been reported by Abubakar (2013) in Nguru Lake, the
crustaceans were composed of 65% of which 41% were cladocerans dominated by Moina.
5.4 Relationships between Zooplankton, Abundance and Physico-chemical Parameter
The regression analysis revealed that there was positive and significant relationship
between turbidity and zooplankton on the settlement side (Tables 7 & 8). This positive
significant relationship may have been contributed by higher significant abundance of
Moina, Ceriodaphnia and Cypris in the settlement areas (Table 6), which had also high
significant turbidity (Table 2).This could be explained partly by the reduction of the ability
of the visual predators to see prey (zooplankton) in turbid waters, thus allowing larger
zooplankton to flourish. This was also observed in small lakes in Lake Victoria basin that
low transparency makes these lakes to support high abundance of zooplankton than in
Lake Victoria with higher transparency (Moss, 1998 in Waya, 2004 and (Ngupula, 2013).
However, in the present study (Table 7) an opposite relationship was observed between
zooplankton and pH. This suggests that high pH contribute to the lower densities of
zooplankton. However, contrary to the present findings, Beenamma and Sadanand (2011)
in India, reported positive relationship between zooplankton and pH. In addition, Tenner
et al. (2005) in Dhembare (2011) reported that pH values ranging from 6 to 8.5 are
associated with medium productivity.
29
CHAPTER SIX
6.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1 Conclusion
Turbidity, salinity and dissolved oxygen were significantly different between the two
studied sites. A higher diversity index was recorded from the settlement, compared to
National park site. With the exception of Moina, Simocephalus, Ceriodaphnia, and Cypris,
the density of all species were not significantly different between the two studied sites.
Turbidity and pH were significantly positively and negatively correlated with zooplankton
abundance respectively.
6.2 Recommendations
There is a great need for promotion and capacity building among farmers and fishers on
conservation and best farming practices such as agro-forestry in the lake’s catchment area.
Specific practices like contour farming on the catchment slopes will lead to reduction in
runoffs in to the lake, reducing siltation in the lake. The introduction and integration of
suitable tree species in crop production will also lead to reduced load of sediments in the
lake. The present study lasted for three months; a follow up study covering a whole year is
recommended.
30
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