West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae The focus of the <em>West African Journal of Applied Ecology</em>is on ecology, agriculture and water pollution. It aims to serve as an avenue for lecturers and researchers in West Africa to publish their work. <p>Other websites related to this journal are <a title="http://apps.ug.edu.gh/wajae/" href="http://apps.ug.edu.gh/wajae/" target="_blank">http://apps.ug.edu.gh/wajae/</a>.</p> Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana en-US West African Journal of Applied Ecology 0855-4307 Copyright is owned by the journal Phosphorus adsorption, rice dry matter yield, and P use efficiency as influenced by phosphorus fertilizer rates in rainfed lowland soils in Togo https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/211631 <p>The study focused on improving phosphorus (P) fertilizer recommendation in rainfed lowland rice soils in Togo. Phosphorus adsorption was conducted on four soils to determine their P adsorption characteristics and standard phosphorus requirement (SPR). The adsorption maximum ranged from 143 to 200 mg P/kg. The amount of P adsorbed range from 62.70 to 74.85 mg P/kg. Greenhouse experiment was conducted to determine rice response to phosphorus rates based on the SPR values, and to assess rice P uptake and use efficiency. Five phosphorus rates, Control: 0 mg P kg<sup>−1</sup>, P recommended rate (RR): 5 mg P kg<sup>−1</sup>, 4 × RR: 20 mg P kg<sup>−1</sup>, 50% SPR and 100% SPR were used. Results indicated no significant difference between the Control treatment and the P recommended rate (RR), and between the 50% SPR and the 100% SPR with reference to shoot dry matter yield. P uptake and P use efficiency were significantly and positively influenced by the various P fertilizer rates. From the study, the blanket P recommended rate is inappropriate, however, site-specific P fertilizer rate of 50% SPR may be recommended to improve rainfed lowland rice yields in Togo.</p> K. A. Ablede K. Koudjega I. Y. D. Lawson M. K. Abekoe E. Owusu-Bennoah Copyright (c) 2021 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-08-02 2021-08-02 29 1 1 12 Improved forage cultivation for increased in fodder availability and climate change mitigation in the Savanna agro-ecological zone of northern Ghana https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/211637 <p>The study was conducted to investigate the biomass yield and quality of two forage species <em>Brachiaria ruziziensis</em> (<em>B. ruziziensis</em>) and <em>Sorghum almum</em> (<em>S. almum</em>) in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in two different locations (Bihinayili in the Savelugu District and Zanlerigu in the Nabdam District) in the Savanna agro-ecological zone of Ghana. Agronomic data were collected and representative samples of forage biomass taken at 60 days after planting to estimate dry matter yield and nutritive quality. The two-way interaction effect of forage species and experimental site was not significant for both agronomic and chemical parameters except for tiller number. The average leaf size was broader (P=0.006) in <em>S. almum</em> (299.0 cm<sup>2</sup>) than <em>B. ruziziensis</em> (85.0 cm<sup>2</sup>). Number of leaves per plant was higher (P=0.016) in <em>B. ruziziensis</em> (10.75). Number of tillers per plant in <em>B. ruziziensis</em> (9.62) was higher (P=0.001) than <em>S. almum</em> (2.88). Plant height was however, higher in <em>S. almum</em> (183.1 cm) than <em>B. ruziziensis</em> (90.1 cm). Dry matter yield of forages at 60 days after planting was higher (P&lt;0.001) at Bihinayili (8.49 tons/ha) than that at Zanlerigu (2.23 tons/ha). The CP content of the forages at Bihinayili (89.7 g/kg DM) was also higher (P=0.018) than that at Zanlerigu (68.6 g/kg DM). Dry matter yield of <em>B. ruziziensis</em> (4.84 tons/ha) did not differ significantly from that of<em> S. almum</em> (5.88 tons/ha). In conclusion, <em>B. ruziziensis</em> and <em>S. almum</em> performed well within the Savanna agroecological zone and could enhance fodder supply and carbon sequestration.</p> S. P. Konlan E. K. Panyan T. Ansah Copyright (c) 2021 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-08-02 2021-08-02 29 1 13 23 Hand-dug Well Water Quality: The Case of Two Peri-Urban Communities in Ghana https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/211640 <p>Many rural and peri-urban areas in developing countries including Ghana face challenges with access to good quality drinking water. These areas often depend on surface water or ground water sources which are often compromised with excess levels of nitrate, chloride and microbial pathogens. This study sought to assess the effect of household latrine system on household water quality of two peri-urban communities in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Geographic Information Systems were used to map the latrine location and elevation of household wells relative to latrines. Latrines and wells were visually inspected. Water samples were also collected from the selected household wells and tested for pH, chlorine, turbidity, colour, conductivity, temperature, total dissolved solids, nitrites and nitrates. Selected community borehole water were used for controls. The study showed average latrine location relative to household well was 13.7 m. The difference in elevation between the wells and latrines is at an average of 0.7m. All the household latrines were improved latrines and household wells with 47% of them having lids to cover them. The water quality observed were all within the WHO drinking water quality for the physicochemical parameters assessed. The study however showed higher levels of nitrate in household wells than bore holes. The need to educate households in locating of Kraals relative to household water systems is needed. Further studies including environmental and geological assessments are required to establish the observations made regarding why areas of high latrine concentrations had lower nitrate levels. Also microbiological studies to establish the safety of water for drinking is required.</p> J. A. Braimah D. R. Yirenya-Tawiah C. Gordon Copyright (c) 2021 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-08-02 2021-08-02 29 1 24 34 Pre-Impoundment Fish Stock Assessment of the Black Volta: A Contribution to Fisheries Management of Bui Reservoir in Ghana https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/211653 <p>A length-based fish stock assessment of the Black Volta River in Ghana was undertaken prior to its damming at Bui in 2011. The approach involved estimation of the population parameters and exploitation rates of dominant fish stocks using TropFish R. The targeted species were: <em>Alestes baremoze</em>, <em>Hydrocynus forskalii</em>, <em>Hemisynodontis membranaceus</em> and <em>Labeo coubie</em>. The estimated asymptotic length (L<sub>∞</sub>) ranged from 30.8 – 48.2 cm standard length (SL) with derived longevity of 11 – 27 years for the assessed species. The estimated growth coefficient (K) value ranged from 0.10 – 0.25 yr<sup>-1</sup> which suggested slow growth rates. The estimated length at first capture (Lc<sub>50</sub>) was lower than the length at first maturity (Lm<sub>50</sub>) for all the assessed fish species which suggests the presence of recruitment overfishing within the fish stocks. The total mortality rate (Z) was relatively high ranging between 0.51 and 1.34 yr<sup>-1</sup> suggesting that the stocks were over-exploited during the pre-impoundment period. The exploitation rate (E) for the assessed fish species were lower than the maximum exploitation rate (E<sub>max</sub>) which indicates that the species are far from collapse. These estimates are baseline scientific information for designing a Fisheries Management Plan for the Bui reservoir. Meanwhile, alternative livelihood and employment opportunities such as cage fish culture are to be explored to reduce the fishing pressure on the reservoir.</p> P. K. Ofori- Danson B. Asiedu E. H. Alhassan D.K. Atsu S. K. K. Amponsah Copyright (c) 2021 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-08-02 2021-08-02 29 1 35 48 Ownership Rights and Investment in Agricultural Land in Ghana: A Gender Analysis https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/211659 <p>This paper examines the relationship between ownership rights and investment in agricultural land from a gender perspective in Ghana, using the Two-Stage Conditional Maximum Likelihood estimation technique and data from the Ghana Household Asset Survey. The results indicate that investment in agricultural lands is generally low in Ghana and tends to occur mostly in agricultural lands owned by men suggesting its inability to enhance tenure security. Furthermore, investment in agricultural lands owned by men is associated with a wider range of ownership rights. However, the same cannot be said about agricultural land owned by women as investments in their land do not significantly improve their rights to the land. Except for economic rights that appear to have a significant negative association with investments in agricultural lands owned by women, all other rights have no significant relationship with investments in agricultural lands owned by both men and women. There is a positive relationship between age and ownership rights for men suggesting that the youth may have challenges securing their tenure. We recommend the strengthening of the current land administration projects to enhance tenure security. Policies that will support the growing of perennial trees, construction of farmhouses and irrigation should be put in place by the government to encourage men to undertake such investments as they tend to improve ownership rights of agricultural lands. More should also be done to secure the ownership rights of the youth if the government wants them to engage in agriculture.</p> E. R. Aikins A. D. Oduro D. K. Twerefou Copyright (c) 2021 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-08-02 2021-08-02 29 1 49 61 Seasonal changes in stream habitat structure and its relationship with fish community structure in a low gradient stream in Sunyani, Ghana https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/211667 <p>Studies on seasonal changes in stream structure and its effect on habitat quality, distribution, abundance and biomass of stream fishes in Ghana is limited. Understanding seasonal changes in stream habitat structure and adaptive responses of fish populations is essential for stream protection and conservation of stream ecosystems and their resident fish populations. Seasonal changes in stream structure, physicochemical characteristics and fish community structure were investigated in an urban stream in Sunyani, Ghana. Data was collected monthly from November 2016 to November 2017 at upstream, midstream and downstream sites. High spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability in stream structure affected by the dry and wet seasonal cycles was observed. Twelve species of fish belonging to eight families and ten genera were recorded, with catfishes dominating community biomass. The diet pattern of fish species differentiated the community into herbivore, piscivore and omnivore trophic levels. Herbivores were most abundant and consumed a wide range of plantbased food. Fish habitats disappeared and mortality increased upstream and midstream during the dry season. However, the downstream habitat persisted as a result of the unique morphology which resulted in a relatively deep depth, large canopy cover and presence of water lettuce <em>Pistia stratiotes</em> which minimized water loss. Water quality did not differ significantly across the stream in all seasons. Higher water clarity downstream cooccurred with <em>Pistia</em> proliferation along with elevated fish biomass during the dry season. Stream structure, rather than physicochemical characteristics, controlled fish biomass. Water quality and fish biomass were strongly correlated with seasonal <em>Pistia</em> abundance. Persistence of the downstream pool habitat during the dry season sustained habitat quality and increased fish survival. Maintenance of stream pools along with opportunistic aquatic vegetation in the dry season can sustain stream ecosystems and stabilize their fish communities and biotic structure.</p> P. O. Sanful S. Amfoh A. W. Iddrisu Copyright (c) 2021 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-08-02 2021-08-02 29 1 62 79