River systems constitute areas of high human population densities owing to their favourable conditions for agriculture, water supply and transportation network. Despite human dependence on river systems, anthropogenic activities severely degrade water quality. The main aim of this study was to assess the river health of Ngamo River using diatom and macroinvertebrate community structure based on multivariate analyses and community metrics. Ammonia, pH, salinity, total phosphorus and temperature were found to be significantly different among the study seasons. The diatom and macroinvertebrate taxa richness increased downstream suggesting an improvement in water as we moved away from the pollution point sources. Canonical correspondence analyses identified nutrients (total nitrogen and reactive phosphorus) as important variables structuring diatom and macroinvertebrate community. The community metrics and diversity indices for both bioindicators highlighted that the water quality of the river system was very poor. These findings indicate that both methods can be used for water quality assessments, e.g. sewage and agricultural pollution, and they show high potential for use during water quality monitoring programmes in other regions.
Applied Water Science – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 26, 2017
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