Macroinvertebrates as bioindicators of water quality in the Mkondoa River, Tanzania, in an agricultural area
The suitability of using macroinvertebrates as bioindicators of stream water quality was tested in the Mkondoa River in an agricultural area at Kilosa, using the rapid bioassessment protocol. The family biotic index (FBI) showed marked variation in water quality along the stream from values ranging from 4.1 to 5.0 in the upstream reaches, indicating good water quality, 5.3 to 5.5 in the mid-reaches and 6.0 to 6.5 in the lower reaches. The water quality index (WQI) indicated that water quality was fair (77 ± 0.98) in the upstream reach of the Mkondoa, marginal (55 ± 0.86) in the midstream reach and poor (33 ± 0.45) in the downstream reach. There were significant relationships between biological oxygen demand and dissolved oxygen and the occurrence of specific taxa, mainly Chironomus and Caenis. Significant changes in macroinvertebrate abundance were mostly related to changes in water quality. As in other parts of the world, macroinvertebrate communities proved to be good biological indicators of water quality and they should be used as bioindicators in long-term monitoring of this river.
Keywords: bioassessment, biomonitoring, family biotic index, Kilosa district