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The zooplankton and environmental characteristics of Yardantsi Reservoir, Gusau, Nigeria

A. M. Jabbi
B. Isah


Zooplankton play an important role in the faunal biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems as they assist in transferring algal energy to higher trophic levels through grazing and also eliminate harmful algae from water. The zooplankton and environmental characteristics of Yardantsi Reservoir were studied in order to provide essential information on this important ecosystem that serves as domestic and irrigation water supply, and fishing ground. Samples for water quality and zooplankton analyses were collected from the reservoir from May, 2015 to April, 2017 using standard methods. Three groups of zooplankton (Copepoda, Cladocera and Rotifera) comprising of thirteen genera were encountered. Rotifera (36.69%) and Cladocera (34.44%) were numerically dominant during the rainy and dry seasons, respectively. The highest zooplankton abundance (5646), species richness (11), Shannon-Weiner index (2.25) and Margalef's index (1.16) were observed during the rainy season. Axes 1 and 2 of the principal component analysis (PCA) explained 74.82% and 11.89% of the zooplankton-environmental variable relationship. Diaphanosoma sp, Eubranchipus sp, Kellicottia sp and Macrothrix sp were mostly influenced by NO3, BOD, depth, pH and dissolved oxygen while Cyclops sp and Daphnia were mostly influenced by changes in alkalinity, hardness and chloride. Brachionus patulus, the dominant species in the reservoir was mostly influenced by PO4-P. The study shows that the reservoir is slightly polluted and it is essential to adopt effective management strategies such as reduced agricultural run-offs and riparian animal grazing to prevent further deterioration of water quality.

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eISSN: 2992-4030
print ISSN: 1596-972X