Physico-chemical limnology and plankton dynamics of Mazvikadei, a tropical reservoir in Zimbabwe
The limnology of Mazvikadei Reservoir, northern Zimbabwe, was investigated in 2015 to determine whether it had changed since filling in 1990. The reservoir is characterised by low algal biomass, low nutrients (i.e. N and P) and high water clarity/transparency. Fifty-four species of phytoplankton were recorded, comprising Bacillariophyta, Chlorophyta, Cyanophyta, Desmids, Dinophyta and Euglenophyta. Chlorophyta numerically dominated in the hot dry season, whereas Bacillariophyta, Desmids, Dinophyta and Euglenophyta dominated in the cool dry season. Species richness was highest at the onset of the cool dry season, in response to high nutrient concentrations. Phytoplankton abundance and composition were significantly correlated with temperature, nitrates and total nitrogen. Nineteen zooplankton species were recorded, including Copepoda, Cladocera and Rotifera. Overall, Cladocera were numerically dominant and became most abundant during the cool dry season. Rotifers and copepods dominated during the hot dry season. The zooplankton abundance was correlated with reactive phosphorus and phytoplankton abundance. The trophic state of Mazvikadei Reservoir seems to have stabilised and to have assumed the physico-chemical characteristics and plankton community typical of an oligotrophic lake.
Keywords: aging, mature, oligotrophic, phytoplankton, trophic status, zooplankton