Assessment of Physicochemical Parameters and Macroinvertebrate Functional Feeding Groups in River Chanchaga, Minna, Niger State

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Assessment of Physicochemical Parameters and Macroinvertebrate Functional Feeding Groups in River Chanchaga, Minna, Niger State.

Abstract:

Functional group classification plays a crucial role in understanding community-level associations in lotic ecosystems. This study aimed to explore the functional structure of aquatic biota in River Chanchaga, located in Minna, Niger State, North Central Nigeria. Over a ten-month period (January to October 2019), macroinvertebrate samples, along with water samples, were collected from four ecologically distinct stations on a monthly basis.

Physicochemical parameters of the water were analyzed using standard methods, and the macroinvertebrate taxa were assigned to functional feeding groups based on published literature and examination of gut contents. The results indicated variations in physicochemical parameters among the stations. Station 4 exhibited the highest values for temperature (28.43±0.52°C), depth (0.48±0.06 m), and conductivity (10.14±0.35 µ/cm). Conversely, station 1 had the highest values for transparency (17.68±2.28 mg/L), dissolved oxygen (5.65±0.54 mg/L), and biochemical oxygen demand (4.80±0.67 mg/L). Flow velocity, pH, sulphate, and phosphate values were highest in station 3, with respective values of 0.38±0.14 mg/L, 7.57±0.41 mg/L, 27.04±1.74 mg/L, and 1.51±0.18 mg/L.

The distribution of macroinvertebrate species showed clear associations with specific environmental conditions, reflecting their morphological and trophic suitability. Predators and collector gatherers (Odonata and Ephemeroptera) dominated the functional groups in stations 1, 2, and 3, while scrapers, particularly the Thiaridae, were more abundant in stations 3 and 4. Shredders were limited to stations 1 and 2.

Throughout the study period, a total of 2707 individuals from 25 families belonging to 11 orders of macroinvertebrates were recorded in River Chanchaga. Station 4 had the highest number of individuals (1925 or 71.11%), followed by stations 3 (16.14%), 2 (6.10%), and 1 (6.6%).

The abundance of taxa in station 1 indicated the presence of species adapted to unperturbed water conditions, while stations with higher pollution levels hosted more pollution-tolerant species. This finding underscores the importance of controlling pollution to prevent potential health risks associated with water quality.

Conservation efforts targeting macroinvertebrate biodiversity can play a significant role in maintaining the overall water quality of River Chanchaga.

Assessment of Physicochemical Parameters and Macroinvertebrate Functional Feeding Groups in River Chanchaga, Minna, Niger State.

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