Biological monitoring of freshwater ecosystem health in Ethiopia: A review of current efforts, challenges, and future developments

  • Workiye Worie Assefa Department of Biology, College of Science and 1Blue Nile Water Institute, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Getachew Beneberu Department of Biology, College of Science and 1Blue Nile Water Institute, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Baye Sitotaw Department of Biology, College of Science
  • Ayalew Wondie School of Fisheries and Wildlife, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Keywords: Anthropogenic pressures, Bioassessment, Ecological Integrity, Indicators, Pollution

Abstract

Aquatic resources are increasingly stressed primarily due to anthropogenic activities in Ethiopia. These anthropogenic stresses altered ecological integrities and compromised ecosystem services that could otherwise support the livelihoods of millions of people. Evidence-based management of the degradation of aquatic ecosystems requires quantifying ecologically significant changes and discriminating among impact levels and types. Apart from physico-chemistry, monitoring of aquatic ecosystems using biological organisms is progressing well in recent times both in the tropics and temperate regions. The majority of studies so far focused on macroinvertebrates and to a lesser extent on diatoms. Though the method is given less attention, individual initiatives have been increasing over time especially in developing countries, including Ethiopia. This paper reviews current efforts undertaken and major challenges facing the use of bioindicators in aquatic ecosystems as biological monitoring tools. The possible application of biomonitoring and its importance for Ethiopian aquatic ecosystems is also discussed and future improvements suggested.

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Articles

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eISSN: 2312-6019
print ISSN: 1816-3378