West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae <p>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.&nbsp;</p> <p>Other websites related to this journal are&nbsp;<a title="http://apps.ug.edu.gh/wajae/" href="http://apps.ug.edu.gh/wajae/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">http://apps.ug.edu.gh/wajae/</a>.</p> en-US Copyright is owned by the journal k_abekoe@ug.edu.gh (M.K. Abekoe/ S. K. A. Danso) dansosk@yahoo.co.uk (S. K. A Danso) Fri, 09 Jun 2023 16:32:24 +0000 OJS http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Ecological Risk and Adsorption of Toxic Metals from Gbalahi Landfill Leachate using Chicken Eggshells as a Low Cost Adsorbent https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249029 <p>Pollution is a world-wide talked about subject but little has been achieved in the 21<sup>st</sup> century in terms of improvement of aquatic environment, water quality and reducing human health risks. One of the most effective methods of removing toxic metals is adsorption. The study was to assess the ecological risk and efficacy of chicken eggshell as a low cost adsorbent for the removal of toxic metals from Gbalahi landfill leachate. Chicken eggshells (1 g, 2 g, 4 g, 6 g and 8 g) were added to 100 mg L<sup>-1</sup> each of the spiked ternary leachate (1 mg L<sup>-1</sup>, 5 mg L<sup>-1</sup>, 10 mg L<sup>-1</sup>, 25 mg L<sup>-1</sup> and 50 mg L<sup>-1</sup>) and agitated for 60 minutes at a constant temperature (25 °C). The leachates, and elutes were obtained and transported to the Ecological Laboratory of University of Ghana for initial analysis. The study revealed that 0.2060 mg L<sup>-1</sup> for cadmium (Cd), 0.0060 mg L<sup>-1</sup> for chromium (Cr), 0.0010 mg L<sup>-1</sup> for lead (Pb), 0.0012 mg L<sup>-1</sup> for mercury (Hg), 0.0024 mg L<sup>-1</sup> for arsenic (As) and 0.3410 mg L<sup>-1</sup> for nickel (Ni) were present in the leachate. The removal efficiencies for Cd, Hg, and Pb ranged from 98.67% to 99.99%, 99.89% to 99.99%, and 99.98% to 99.99%, respectively. Langmuir model (0.46 ≤ R<sup>2</sup> ≤ &nbsp;0.84) showed a better fit for the adsorption of the toxic metals by chicken eggshells than Freundlich model (0.26 ≤ R<sup>2</sup> ≤ &nbsp;0.40). Cadmium and nickel proved to be the metals with the highest level of toxicity. Chicken eggshells have a high adsorption efficiency in the landfill leachate. The pH of the leachates were favourable for the adsorption. The toxic metals in the leachate were within the low contamination and low-risk category indicating low ecological risks. Low-cost chicken eggshells can be used as an economically efficient material for the removal of cadmium, mercury and lead from landfill leachate. More adsorptive studies should be carried out using chicken eggshells as an adsorbent to remediate other wastewater in order to gain a broad knowledge on the adsorbent's applicability.&nbsp;</p> J. Kan-Uge, E. H Alhassan, A. B. Duwiejuah, F. T. Iddrisu, B. H. R. Gameli Copyright (c) 2023 West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249029 Wed, 07 Jun 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Preliminary Study on Gastrointestinal Helminths in Warthogs (<i>Phacochoerus africanus</i>) at the Mole National Park, Ghana https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249035 <p>Most emerging human infectious diseases originated from wildlife. To find out if warthogs in Mole National Park harbour zoonotic parasites, a total of 39 warthog faecal droppings were sampled and examined. Zinc Sulphate Floatation technique was used in processing the samples for microscopic examination and quantification of parasite eggs.&nbsp;Out of the 39 warthog droppings, 95% were infected with one or more parasite species. At least seven genera of helminths were identified. Nearly 72% of the warthog droppings harboured <em>Strongyloides</em> <em>sp</em> and trichostrongyle-type<em>.</em> <em>Enterobius </em>sp. was found in 64.1% of the droppings. Other parasitic helminths identified such as <em>Ascaris</em> sp., <em>Taenia</em> sp., <em>Monieza</em> sp., and <em>S. haematobium </em>occurred in less than 50% of the animals. &nbsp;Z-tests showed significant variations in prevalence among the various parasites (p&lt;0.05). Mostly, the level of infection ranged from moderate (100&lt;EPG&lt;500) to high (EPG ≥ 500) loads of helminth eggs. Forty-two percent of the warthogs had three or more parasites. This study reveals some helminths that are harboured by the warthogs in the Mole National Park. The presence of zoonotic parasites such as <em>Ascaris</em> sp. and <em>Taenia</em> sp. in the warthogs is an indication of potential for transmission of zoonoses in the community.</p> P. J. Owusu, D. Oduro, N. O. Duah-Quashie, E. H. Owusu, G. Futagbi Copyright (c) 2023 West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249035 Wed, 07 Jun 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Off-Season Heavy Application of Poultry Manure to Droughty-Acid Soils under Heavily Protective Organic Mulch Later Burnt to Ash Improves Their Productivity https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249098 <p>The effects of poultry-droppings manure at high rates (up to and &gt; 50 t/ha), termed heavy application, on soil productivity indices of sandy-loam Ultisols were evaluated on okra, under conditions of heavily protecting the amended soil with dry-grass mulch and subsequent burning of same. The plots, prepared in dry season, were saturated weekly by manual irrigation. Two months after manuring, the protective surface mulch was completely burnt to ash. Weekly irrigation continued till the rains stabilized in the next rainy season, 7 months later, okra was sown. The soil was sampled before sowing and after harvest of okra, in- between which gravimetric water content was determined twice some 5-9 h after rain events ≥ 30 mm. Just before cropping, soil organic matter steadily increased while soil bulk density decreased with increasing manure rate. Total porosity, aggregate stability indices and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the soil all showed higher values in 75 t/ha than the rest at both sampling periods. Macro- and microporosity tended to decrease and increase, respectively with manure rate. Soil water content was not affected during okra growth, but treatment enhanced post-cropping microporosity. Treatment optimally enhanced pre-cropping soil pH and available phosphorus including okra vegetative growth at 50 t/ha, and pre-cropping total nitrogen and cation xchange properties including okra fruiting at 25 t/ha. Adding poultry manure at ≥ 25 t/ha to droughty-acid tropical soils with a heap of protective organic mulch to be ashed later can improve their productivity in the following rainy season, most likely due to enhanced pre-cropping soil pH and phosphorus fertility and postcropping water availability relative to no-manure soil.&nbsp;</p> C.J. Onah, A.L. Nnadi, N.U. Eyibio, J.O. Obi, A.I. Orah, C.F. Amuji, S.E. Obalum Copyright (c) 2023 West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249098 Wed, 07 Jun 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Effect of <i>Chromolaena odorata</i> (L.) R.M. King & H. Rob. Leaf Extract on Oviposition in <i>Rhipicephalus microplus</i> Canestrini, 1888 https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249101 <p><em>Rhipicephalus microplus</em> infestation in livestock is associated with animal health and economic losses. There are also environmental safety concerns regarding <em>Rhipicephalus microplus</em> control using synthethic acaricides, calling for affordable and safer interventions for their control. This study assessed the effect of dichloromethane extract of <em>Chromolaena odorata</em> leaf on oviposition in <em>Rhipicephalus microplus</em>. Using topical application procedures, <em>Chromolaena odorata</em> leaf extract treatment of <em>Rhipicephalus microplus</em> was observed to significantly affect the number of eggs laid, <em>H</em> (5) = 36.25, p &lt; 0.001. The significant differences in eggs laid were observed between the control group and: 3.125 mg/ml (<em>p</em> = 0.002), 12.5 mg/ml (<em>p</em> = 0.001), 25 mg/ml (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.001), 50 mg/ml (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.001) treated groups of tick, but not control and 6.25 mg/ml (<em>p</em> = 0.077) treated groups of tick. A dichloromethane extract of <em>Chromolaena odorata</em> leaf demonstrates its potential use for effective control of <em>Rhipicephalus microplus</em> and may be considered for development of acaricidal compounds.&nbsp;</p> I. F. Aboagye, E. J. Taylor, B. N. A. Aryee, M-C. A. A. Koffi, J. Baffoe-Ansah, D. Osei-Safo Copyright (c) 2023 West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249101 Wed, 07 Jun 2023 00:00:00 +0000 The prospect of biodiversity conservation in cocoa agroforestry landscape, Ghana https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249102 <p>The adoption of cocoa agroforests in Ghana and other West African countries for biodiversity conservation has not been conclusive. Though constituting major landscapes, cocoa agroforests are not fully adopted for biodiversity conservation, despite the declining cover of protected forest areas that are considered as biodiversity hotspots. We assessed the biodiversity conservation potential of cocoa agroforest farms relative to a protected forest vegetation. Six plots were delineated in cocoa agroforest farms, and a plot in a protected forest. Trees with a diameter of, at least, 5 cm at breast height (1.3m) were identified and counted in the plots. Multiple quantitative general diversity measurements of species richness, Shannon index, Simpson index and Sorensen’s plot similarity were estimated and compared among the plots. Though the protected forest recorded the highest (2.74) for the Shannon index, some cocoa farms recorded higher measurements as well (2.46 and 2.31). Three cocoa plots recorded higher values for Simpson index (0.92, 0.89 and 0.83) than the protected area (0.73). Dominance was higher in the protected forest (0.127) than one cocoa plot (0.098). The Sorensens’s index showed a wide variation in similarity among the cocoa farms, indicating the possibility of management types. The finding indicates a potential for adopting cocoa agroforestry for biodiversity conservation, yet, given the variations in diversity measures among the farms, further studies to determine the management types and the mix of tree species diversity and abundance that yields the optimum sustainability benefits must be conducted.&nbsp;</p> M. O. Ansah, O. Pabi, J. S. Ayivor Copyright (c) 2023 West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249102 Wed, 07 Jun 2023 00:00:00 +0000 A Safe Haven or a Temporary Alternative Host? - The Displaced Mango Fruit Fly, <i>Ceratitis cosyra</i> in the African Peach Plant https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249107 <p>One of the difficulties in controlling fruit flies in cultivated crops is the use of alternative host plants as refugia when the preferred hosts are not in season. This&nbsp; study was aimed at collecting fruits and vegetables in localities across the five northern regions of Ghana (Northern, North-East, Savannah, Upper-East, and Upper-West regions) to catalogue the diversity of fruit flies and their host plants. A total of 1,722 fruits from all localities across the five regions were incubated, with 29.13% turning out to be fly-positive, yielding 1,141 individuals in four genera (<em>Bactrocera</em>, <em>Ceratitis</em>, <em>Dacus</em>, and <em>Zeugodacus</em>) and four species (<em>Bactrocera dorsalis</em> (Hendel), <em>Ceratitis cosyra</em> (Walker), <em>Dacus bivittatus</em> (Bigot), and <em>Zeugodacus cucurbitae</em> (Coquillet)). The African Peach plant, <em>Nauclea latifolia</em>, showed the highest incidence level of infestation, with the Mango fruit fly, <em>Ceratitis cosyra</em> as the dominant species, accounting for 97.19% (974) of the flies. The Oriental fruit fly, <em>Bactrocera dorsalis</em> and the Melon fly, <em>Zeugodacus curcurbitae</em> accounted for 1.23% (14 each), and <em>Dacus bivittatus</em> 0.35% (4). With evidence of displacement of <em>C. cosyra</em> from mango by the invasive <em>Bactrocera dorsalis</em> in most African countries, our results point to a plant that has hitherto not been known to be associated with fruit flies in Ghana for the displaced Mango fruit fly. Since information of previous fruit fly records is scanty, especially in the northern parts of the country, it is not known whether the African Peach has always been a host plant to <em>C. cosyra</em>, and served as a suitable alternative host during the long dry season, or is pointing to the new home after its displacement by <em>Bactrocera dorsalis</em>. There is therefore the need for an extended all-year-round collection to ascertain the host status and pattern of utilization of the African peach, as well as confirm the suspected host shift and displacement status of <em>C. cosyra</em>.&nbsp;</p> M. K. Billah, G. M. Oyinkah, B. K. Badii, M. A. Cobblah Copyright (c) 2023 West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249107 Wed, 07 Jun 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Synergistic effects of <i>Albizzia lebbek</i>, <i>Moringa oleifera</i> and <i>Millettia thonningii</i> leaves on weight gain and predicted enteric methane emission in sheep https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249111 <p>The digestive tract of ruminants though unique in the utilisation of low quality feed materials also emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential of 25 times that of carbon-dioxide. Climate smart livestock production necessitated the use of browse leaves with the potential to inhibit methanogens and protozoa activity in the rumen and reduce methane emission. Thus, sixteen forest type ram lambs (13.94 ±1.02 ) were fed <em>Albizzia lebbek</em> (AL)+<em>Moringa oleifera</em> (MO)+<em>Millettia thonningii</em> (MT), AL+MO, AL+MT and MO+MT for twelve weeks. Data collected were feed intake, digestible energy, weight gain, energy loss, nitrogen loss and methane emission by sheep. Rumen methane production (MJ/d) was estimated using a model equation: Methane = 8.25 + 0.07 x Metabolisable Energy Intake. Sheep fed AL+MO had the highest (p&lt;0.0001) average daily gain whilst those fed AL+MO+MT recorded the lowest (p&lt;0.0001). Sheep fed AL+MO+MT emitted the lowest (p&lt;0.0001) methane and those fed AL+MO emitted the highest (p&lt;0.0001) methane. The dry matter intake, digestible energy, energy intake, faecal energy losses, average daily gain, feed conversion efficiency, faecal nitrogen losses, urinal nitrogen losses and methane production were in the range of 588.9-651.5g/d, 15.1-16.7 MJ/kg DM, 17.3-18 MJ/kg DM, 1.26-2.56 MJ/kg DM, 69.94-83.33 g/d, 8.66-11.10 g/d, 60.43-88.01g/animal/d, 11.22- 6.99 g/animal/d and 3-5.34 MJ/d respectively. This study demonstrates the synergic action of browse leaves as a climate smart approach in reducing methane production and improving the productivity of sheep. Furthermore, this feeding strategy promotes uniform utilization of browse species leading to the sustainable use of preferred browse species as no one browse species will be heavily utilised.&nbsp;</p> F.O. Sarkwa, O. R. Madibela, T. Adogla-Bessa, W. N. Mphinyane, J. S. Perkins, F. Idan, E. C. Timpong-Jones Copyright (c) 2023 West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249111 Wed, 07 Jun 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Broilers’ performance in deep litter house at different floor geometries and stocking densities in humid tropics https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249487 <p>The research investigated how broilers’ performance<span style="text-decoration: line-through;">s</span> will be affected by the conditions of their droppings in deep litter housing system in humid tropics of south west Nigeria. Two factors were considered, floor geometry and stocking density. Four different levels of floor geometry: F<sub>1</sub> = 2800 cm<sup>2</sup>, F<sub>2</sub> = 4200 cm<sup>2</sup>, F<sub>3</sub> = 5600 cm<sup>2</sup> and F<sub>4</sub> = 7,000 cm<sup>2</sup> and four different levels of stocking density: S<sub>1</sub> = 4, S<sub>2</sub> = 6, S<sub>3</sub> = 8 and S<sub>4</sub> = 10 birds per pen were used. There were three replicates for each treatment to make a 2× 4 × 3 randomized complete block design. The birds were fed <em>ad libitum</em> with all other conditions been equal for eight weeks. Conditions of litter were evaluated via pH, weights, temperature<span style="text-decoration: line-through;">s</span> and relative humidity in and out of the building, temperature<span style="text-decoration: line-through;">s</span> of the litter, temperature of the air just above the litter and the temperature<span style="text-decoration: line-through;">s</span> outside the house, all these were measured for each of the pen at two days intervals. Data were collected and analysed for the period of eight weeks (starting from their two weeks old), using their mean values and the correlation coefficients. Results show the pH range of 8.5 to 8.9, liveweight of the birds increased in the range of 216 to 340 g per bird per week, moisture contents of the litter were between 20.4 and 78.0% with mean temperature of the litter at 30.5 <sup>o</sup>C. The emission of ammonia was high, between 51.67 and 71.30 ppm. There was mortality rate of 10% in the S<sub>3</sub> and S<sub>4 </sub>pens, autopsy revealed their cause of death to respiratory diseases which was because of high ammonia emission resulted from high amount of litter. The high temperature of the litter produced increased the level of ammonia and thus produced discomfort in the birds. Birds were uncomfortable in their pens as more litter were produced, thereby their performances were reduced which was evident in their low live weights and high mortality rate.&nbsp;</p> W. A. Lamidi, J. A. Osunade Copyright (c) 2023 West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/249487 Thu, 15 Jun 2023 00:00:00 +0000