Spatial distribution of saline water and possible sources of intrusion into a tropical freshwater lagoon and the transitional effects on the lacustrine ichthyofaunal diversity
The spatial distribution of saline water and possible sources of intrusion into Lekki lagoon and transitional effects on the lacustrine ichthyofaunal characteristics were studied during March, 2006 and February, 2008. The water quality analysis indicated that, salinity has drastically increased recently in the lagoon (0.007 to 4.70%). This study has identified three possible sources for saline water intrusion, beyond the seasonal input from the two adjacent lagoons (Lagos and Mahin), salt water intrusion by subsurface flow through the barrier beach from the ocean, and leaching of ions through lagoon bottom sediments. Eighty one fish species belonging to 40 families, 56 genera and 14 orders encountered were mostly freshwater, euryhaline and marine species adapted to life in the lagoon. The shell fish included the freshwater prawns Macrobrachium spp and the portunid crab Callinectes amnicola. This high number of fish species recorded from Lekki Lagoon in this study has confirmed the fact that this lagoon is a transition area between brackish water (Lagos Lagoon and Mahin Creek) and freshwater (Rivers Saga and Oshun).
Key words: Spatial distribution, saline water, lacustrine, ichthyofaunal, diversity.