Influence of Hydrological Variables on Macrophytes in a Black Water River Ecosystem
Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management
This study assessed the influence of hydrological variables on macrophytes in a Black Water River ecosystem of Enyong River in Itu and Ibiono Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers States, Nigeria. Four vegetation plots were chosen and in each of the plots, four belt transect were laid. In each transect, macrophyte were systematically sampled in four 10 m × 10 m quadrat at regular intervals. Macrophytes were identified to species level and their frequency and density determined.
... ter samples were obtained in each quadrat where the macrophytes were sampled and analyzed for their physicochemical properties using standardized methods. Altogether, 10 macrophyte species were encountered. Vossia cuspidata had the highest density (100.00±8.00 st/ha) and frequency values (100 %). Sacciolepis africana had the least density of 7.10±0.45 st/ha while Ludwigia octovalvis, Persicaria senegalensis, andSacciolepis africana had the least frequency of 25 %, respectively. The pH of the water was strongly acidic (5.54±0.03), electrical conductivity was low (20.00±5.77 µs/cm), temperature (29.00±1.10 ºC), Dissolved Oxygen (DO) (9.20±0.12 mg/l) and turbidity (7.10±0.06 NTU) values were high while Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) (2.00±0.29 mg/l) Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) (10.00±0.29 mg/l) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) were low (5.00±1.15 mg/l). Water Nutrients followed this decreasing order; chloride (3.55±0.02 mg/l) > nitrate (2.45±0.03 mg/l) > sulphate (2.02±0.06 mg/l) > phosphate (0.08±0.01 mg/l) and sulphide (0.03±0.02 mg/l). Heavy metals also followed this descending order; Pb (0.50±0.03 mg/l) > Zn (0.07±0.02 mg/l) > Cu (0.03±0.02 mg/l). Canonical Correspondence Analysis delineated 11 hydrological variables (temperature, pH, sulphate, turbidity, phosphate, BOD, nitrate, DO, TDS, sulphide and TSS) which exerted great influence on macrophyte distribution. V. cuspidata had affinity to pH and temperature, Sacciolepis africana had affinity to turbidity and BOD, Ludwigia octovalvis and Nymphaea lotus had affinity to sulphate and chloride, respectively, while Ipomoea aquatica and Alternanthera sessils had affinity to phosphate. On the other hand, Persicaria senegalensis, Salvinia molesta, Azolla pinnata and Ceratophyllum demersum had affinities to sulphide, DO, TSS and TDS, respectively. Since hydrological variables regulate macrophyte diversity and distribution, this study calls for consistent, monitoring and management of this ecosystem against future environmental changes. Keywords: Aquatic plants, Black water, Canonical Correspondence Analysis, Ordination