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The study on the physic-chemical parameters and benthic fauna diversity of Otamiri River, Nigeria was carried out from June to December 2015. Water and benthic organisms samples were collected monthly from three sampling stations along the stream. Dissolved oxygen bottles of 1000 ml were used to collect water samples which were fixed with wrinkle’s reagent at the sampling stations. Eckman grab, scoop net, hook and line, cast net, traps and dugout canoe with paddle were used to collect the benthic macro fauna for six months (June-August and October to December). The results of the study yielded 229 benthic organisms belonging to 15 species and 14 families. In relation to stations, Station 3 had more species and higher abundance of benthic organisms than other sampled stations. In Station 1, only six species of benthic organisms were recorded while Station 2 had 11 species and Station 3, 13 species of benthic organisms. Majority of the sampled benthic organisms were localized and restricted to one sampled station which was Station 3. The abundance of benthic organisms in Otamiri River was dependent on season. More benthic organisms were recorded in dry season than in rainy season. The diversity indices yielded high diversity in Station 3 than the other two studied stations. More species dominated with high diversity index in dry season than in wet season in all the sampled stations. Mean values of surface water temperature 26.67±0.63 0C, depth 1.96±0.48 m, COD 25.11±0.24 mg/L, BOD 5.47±0.04 mg/L, DO 5.91±0.19 mg/L, Alkalinity 10.66±0.21 mg/L, pH 6.73±0.16, TDS 315.2±48.5 mg/L, Hardness 0.64±0.08 mg/L, Turbidity 4.52±0.16 NTU and TSS 8.68±0.75 mg/L were recorded. There were fluctuations between the physico-chemical parameters caused by anthropogenic activities, stress to the aquatic life and pollution. Shannon wieners diversity index H = 2.24 was higher in Station 2, while Simpson’s dominance index D= 8.5 was also high at Station 2. Temperature, Depth, BOD and TSS correlated positively and favoured the abundance and of Synodontis spp. Temperature, BOD, Turbidity and TSS were also positively correlated and favoured the abundance of C. nigrodigitatus and C. armatum. Negative correlation was recorded in P. serratus in all parameters and in all seasons and stations C. nigrodigitatus was the most abundant species recorded in the present study (32.65%) while the least abundance species was P. serratus (1.25%) and both were found only in Station 3. The pH, BOD, TDS, hardness, turbidity, DO, BOD, COD and temperature ranges fall within WHO recommendations. Government should make laws restricting dredging and sand mine activities in the sampled area.


Title Page
Table of Content
List of Tables
List of Figures

1.1       Introduction
1.2       Justification of the Study
1.3       Objective of the Study
1.4       Literature Review
1.4.1    Water quality parameters Turbidity pH Dissolved oxygen Total hardness Alkalinity Total dissolved solids Total suspended solids Conductivity Chloride Sulphate Total phosphorus Orthophosphate Total nitrogen
1.4.2    Benthic fauna Subdivisions of fauna
1.4.3    Relationship between water quality and benthic fauna

2.1       Study Area
2.2       Sampling Method
2.3       Collection of Samples
2.4       Collection of Water Sample for Physico-chemical Analysis
2.5       Collection of Vertebrate Samples
2.6       Collection of Macro-invertebrate Samples
2.7       Statistical Analysis

3.1       Species Diversity of the Vertebrates and Macro-Invertebrates of Otamiri River
3.2       Physico-chemical Parameters of Otamiri River
3.2.1    Temperature
3.2.2    Depth
3.2.3    Chemical oxygen demand
3.2.4    Biological oxygen demand
3.2.5    Dissolved oxygen
3.2.6    Total alkalinity
3.2.7 pH
3.2.8 Total dissolved solids
3.2.9 Total hardness
3.2.10 Turbidity
3.2.11 Total suspended solids
3.3       Correlation of Species Abundance of Benthic Organisms with Physico-chemical Parameters
3.4       Effect of Season on Physico-chemical Parameters and Composition of Benthic Fauna

4.1       Species Diversity and Composition
4.2       Water Quality Parameters of Otamiri River
4.3       The Relationship between Water quality Parameters and Composition of Benthic Fauna
4.4       The Effect of Season on Physico-chemical Parameters of Water and Composition of Benthic Organisms
4.5       Conclusion
4.6       Recommendation



1.1 Introduction
The benthic macro fauna are those organisms that live at the bottom of a water body and are used to detect changes in the natural environment (Idowu and Ugwumba, 2005; Akaahan et al., 2015). Studies of aquatic bodies have established the existence of relationships between water quality and macro and micro-invertebrate diversity (Teferi et al., 2013). They serve as monitor for the presence of pollutants, their effects on the ecosystem and the progress of environmental clean-up process (Nkwoji et al., 2010). The assessment of the biotic condition compliments the physico-chemical parameters in aquatic environment condition determination (Madhushankha et al., 2014).

Macro-invertebrate organisms form an integral part of an aquatic environment and are of ecological and economic importance as they maintain various levels of interaction between the community and the environment (Sharma et al., 2013). According to Marques et al., 2003), knowledge of the structure of the benthic macro-invertebrate community provides precise and local information on recent events, which can be seen in their structuring. The use of invertebrates and fish as bio-indicators of water quality has been advocated by several researchers (Adakole and Annune, 2003). The use of macro-invertebrate diversity for bio-assessment provides a simpler approach compared to other environmental quality assessment procedures. This is because, macro-invertebrates can be sampled quantitatively and the relative sensitivity or tolerance of some of them to contamination is known (Adakole and Annune, 2003). Species vary in their degree of tolerance with the result that under polluted conditions, a reduction in species diversity is the most obvious effect (Emere, 2000; Olomukoro and Egborge, 2003; Sharma et al., 2013).

Macro-benthic invertebrates are used as bio-indicators because of their extended residency period in specific habitats. More so, the presence or absence of particular benthic species in a particular environment act as a pointer to the water quality status. The abundance of benthic fauna mainly depends on physical and chemical properties of their habitat as they respond more quickly if any changes in water quality occur. They are most frequently used in biomonitoring for these reasons (Mohan et al., 2013). Modification to macrobenthic invertebrate distribution affects important role they play such as mineralization, mixing of sediments and flux of oxygen into sediment and cycling of organic matter (George et al., 2009), which further contribute to indication of water status. The technique of using macro-benthic invertebrates as bio-indicators is a cost effective method widely used in the Northern American and European ecoregions (Azrina et al., 2005) but not a popular method in the African region in river classification due to the lack of expertise and information on benthic macro-invertebrate populations.

There have been several studies on the relation of the aquatic macrobenthos diversity and water sediment with physic-chemical status of the aquatic ecosystem (Garg et al., 2009; Quasin et al., 2009; Edokpayi et al., 2010 and Madhushankha et al., 2014). In lentic freshwaters, the benthic invertebrates play essential roles in key ecosystem processes, such as food chain dynamics, productivity, nutrient cycling and decomposition. The lotic and lentic inland waters, as well as brackish and marine waters in the tropics are habitats for a variety of macro-invertebrate fauna. Work on the macro-invertebrate fauna in the tropics has shown that the quantitative collection of key species from natural aquatic habitat or that modified by man can provide a means of estimating various ecological parameters, such as richness or evenness in diversity (Odo et al., 2007). Their distribution and abundance are directly related to different environmental factors such as food availability and quantity, sediment type, substrate, and water quality (Arslan et al., 2007, and Odabasi et al., 2009). They also show considerable spatial variation with lake and across lakes (Baudo et al., 2001; Pamplin and Rocha, 2007; Smiljkov et al., 2008). In reservoirs, the benthic macro-invertebrate community may be particularly susceptible to water-level changes that alter sediment exposure, temperature regime, wave-induced sediment redistribution and basal productivity (McEwen and Butler, 2010).......

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