Benthic macrofauna community composition, abundance and distribution in the Tanzanian and Ugandan inshore and offshore waters of Lake Victoria

  • GW Ngupula
  • R Kayanda


Benthic macroinvertebrate community composition was investigated in 2008 at 55 stations at various depths in the nearshore and offshore waters of Lake Victoria, in relation to dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, chlorophyll a and conductivity. Macroinvertebrate abundance was higher in the shallow nearshore waters than in the deep offshore waters. The communities of the shallow, intermediate and deep environments were composed mainly of molluscs, worms and insects. Gastropods (52.68%) and bivalves (40.18%) constituted the major part of the benthic community. Bellamya unicolor, Melanoides tuberculata and Coelatura spp. were the most abundant molluscs. Various macroinvertebrates showed depth preferences, with gastropods having a strong preference for shallow waters and bivalves a weak preference for deep waters. The present findings contrast with those of most studies done before 1984, but agree with many done after that period. The presence of macrophytes and abundant detritus, a food resource for macroinvertebrates, account for their high  abundance in shallow waters.

African Journal of Aquatic Science 2010, 35(2): 185–192

Author Biographies

GW Ngupula
Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, PO Box 475, Mwanza, Tanzania
R Kayanda
Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, PO Box 475, Mwanza, Tanzania

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914