Zooplankton community structure of a tropical lake in a Northcentral State, Nigeria

Elvis Joefaith Ebesi, Yakubu Manbe Mohammed, Kate Isioma Iloba, Kabir Mohammed Adamu, Solomon Bake Adama


One of the biological components that play a vital role in the ecological integrity of an aquatic ecosystem is zooplankton. These organisms are good indicators of stressors, especially anthropogenic stressors in their environment. Thus, there is a need to study the diversity in a diversified freshwater lake (Dangana Lake) in order to provide baseline information and knowledge on the status of the lake for proper and adequate water preservation and conservation. In addition to the zooplankton structure determination, the study also examined the physicochemical parameters of the Lake. Three sampling sites were identified with distinct characteristics where water and zooplankton samples were collected for physicochemical analyses and biotic identification using standard protocols. Sampling was conducted for a duration of eight months. The monitored physicochemical parameters, i.e., temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) and pH revealed no significant difference (p>0.05) among sampling sites. However, significance (p<0.05) amongst sampling sites was recorded in electrical conductivity, nitrate and phosphate. Seasonally, there was a significant difference (p<0.05) among sampling months in all the monitored parameters. A total of ten species of zooplankton were recorded with four species each of rotifera and copepoda and two species of cladocera. The order of abundance of zooplankton population was rotifera (56.39%), copepoda (29.18%) and cladocera (14.42%). Zooplankton population was significantly (p<0.05) higher during the dry season than in the rainy season. The Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) revealed a strong correlation between the zooplankton and physicochemical parameters. Ipso-facto, the lake exhibited spatiotemporal changes in zooplankton composition and physicochemical parameters during the sampling period.

Keywords: Anthropogenic activities, Dangana Lake, Physicochemical parameters, Zooplankton

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