Distribution of Nutrients and Chlorophyll-a in coastal waters and mesotidal estuary of Ilaje, Ondo state, South Western, Nigeria
The nutrients (nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and silicate) of thirty-two stations in Ilaje, coastal waters and estuaries of Ondo state, Nigeria were studied in the month of August (during the wet season). The stations consist of two estuaries; Awoye (A1-A6), Abereke (AB1-AB7), anthropogenic impacted stations (I1-I12) and control stations (C1-C7). The aim of this study is to evaluate the eutrophication status of Ilaje coastal waters and estuaries in response to the stress caused by anthropogenic
... by anthropogenic inputs from land use changes, agriculture, and industrial effluents. Our study reveal highest nitrate (3.20-6.98 mg/l) and phosphate (11.59-17.48mg/L) concentrations at the Abereke Estuaries. The significant correlation of nitrate with chlorophyll-a (p<0.01, r= +0.886) and the low N/P (<0.25) ratio suggest that nitrate is the primary limiting nutrient for phytoplankton production, and accounted for the high chlorophyll-a concentrations in the study area. The strong correlation of nitrite and silicate from the statistical bi-plots at the impacted stations, and the accompanied lowest dissolved oxygen (<5 mg/L) and acidic pH (<6) values suggest nitrite and silicate are sourced from anthropogenic effluents. The mean nitrite concentrations of 0.13mg/L at the impacted stations above the maximum permissible limit of nitrite (0.06 mg/L) for Tilapia production suggest an unfavorable environment for the Tilapia growth at the impacted stations. The chlorophyll-a concentrations scale further showed that the study area is characterized as bad eutrophication status (> 2.21 µg/L) an indication of the presence of heterogeneous phytoplankton community during the wet season. The study highlights the use of nutrients and chlorophyll-a scaling to determine the eutrophication status of coastal area.