A critical review of macroinvertebrate-based bioassessment approaches in Africa’s lotic systems: developments, challenges, and legal requirements

  • John Peter Obubu
  • Seyoum Mengistou
  • Tadesse Fetahi
  • Wolfram Graf
  • Robinson Odong


Worldwide, water resources have an impact on all forms of life as lotic systems are networks that interconnect water resources and land. They are important for navigation, water supplies, agriculture, recreation, and industrial development and help to regulate changes in climate and support social, spiritual, educational, and ecosystem health services. These ecosystems are, however, facing both natural and anthropogenic threats. Anthropogenic threats are driven by population increase, economic development, and catchment degradation. They are now the most threatened resources worldwide, and in Africa in particular. To design proper management strategies, the causes and impacts of the threats must be properly diagnosed. Monitoring and assessment approaches that show degradation and integrate it over time are essential to generate data and information required by water managers for decision making. Biomonitoring using macroinvertebrates is an effective tool in this regard, because it
integrates causes of degradation and aquatic biotic responses to the impacts thereof. This review summarises the needs, challenges, and legal implications of biomonitoring in Africa using lessons from countries with successful biomonitoring as benchmarks.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914