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Taxonomic diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates along the Oum Er Rbia River (Morocco): implications for water quality bio-monitoring using indicator species

F. Souilmi
K. Ghedda
A. Fahde
F. Z. EL Fihri
S. Tahraoui
F. Elasri
M. Malki


The macroinvertebrates of the Oum Er Rbia River were studied from samples collected seasonally from September 2015 to September 2016 at 10 sampling sites. The macroinvertebrates found during the sampling period were distributed into twelve orders. The most abundant order was diptera, having 9618 individuals, followed by the order Ephemeroptera with 2985 individuals. Coleoptera, odonates and crustaceans represent only a small fraction of the total fauna. Hydropsyche, Chironomidae sp. and Simuliidae are numerically more inventoried. The composition and distribution of the species were directly or indirectly affected by the physicochemical variables and the quality of the habitat. Correspondence analysis results showed that habitat quality and quality of water represented species distribution patterns and species can be used as indicators to assess the quality of the Oum Er Rbia River system. Habitat management along the Oum Er Rbia river should be aimed at preserving native species, especially during the summer, when the biotope requirements are optimal. The results obtained in this study showed an alarming situation of the water quality of the Oum Er Rbia River and particularly in downstream segment. To solve this problem, we recommend the development of the wastewater discharge of Khenifra and Kasba Tadla and the purification of wastewater before it is discharged into the river.