Microbiology Project Topics

Effects of Pollution on Water and Fish Production Using Macro Invertebrates as Bio-indicators

Effects of Pollution on Water and Fish Production Using Macro Invertebrates as Bio-indicators

Effects of Pollution on Water and Fish Production Using Macro Invertebrates as Bio-indicators

Chapter One


To use macroinvertebrates as biological indicator of water pollution.


Specific objectives are;

  1. To determine the physicochemical properties of the pond.
  2. To determine species composition and distribution of macroinvertebrates in the pond.
  3. To use the macroinvertebrates present in the pond to access the pollution status of the pond.



The study of macroinvertebrates is a wide spread subject that can be expressed in so many ways. Many workers have made significant contribution to the study of biological parameters (macroinvertebrates) of fresh water bodies both in Nigeria and overseas.

Arimoro, (2010), carried out a survey on microhabitat preference, diversity and ecology of aquatic mites in a municipal stream in the Niger Delta. The information he encountered on water mite assemblages from afrotropical streams were scanty. During the study, he investigated the aspects of the ecology of the aquatic mites of the Orogodo River, Niger Delta, Nigeria. The study was carried out between January and June 2006. Water samples and aquatic mites were collected from four different microhabitats in Orogodo River, analyzed and studied. The water at the site of sampling was slightly acidic at pH 5.8 – 7.4, water temperature ranged from 24.6 to 33.7oC, dissolved oxygen 6.6 – 8.4mg/l and Biochemical Oxygen demand (BOD) 1.9 – 4.0mg/l. These parameters fluctuated within the normal range suitable for habitation of macroinvertebrates intolerant to organic pollution. A survey of different microhabitats in the stream revealed that water mites were widely distributed but relatively less abundant. A total of 386 mites belonging to five species in five families were recorded. Arrenurus damkoehleri and Piona africana were the dominant mites with the latter being the most ubiquitous species recovered from all microhabitats studied. EncenItridophorus was the least abundant, recovered only from litter in riffle. Based on the ecological requirements, the mites fell into three groups namely, Helocrene, Rheocrenes and Limnocrene. The number and diversity of mites were found to be more abundant in the macrophytes and riffle microhabitats compared to other microhabitats as indicated by the rather high Simpson dominance (0.755) recorded for the pool. Typical standing water dwellers represented only a small fraction of the species sampled. A principal component analysis clearly grouped the various mite species with the microhabitat having the greatest influence on their distribution. 

Belore et al., (2002), studied the use of diatoms and macroinvertebrates as bioindicators of water quality in southern Ontario Rivers. The effectiveness of diatoms and macroinvertebrates as indicators of environmental conditions in lotic systems was compared in a regional assessment. Benthic samples were collected during summer 2000 from 35 Provincial Water Quality Monitoring river stations in the Grand, Credit, Maitland and Upper Thames watersheds in southern Ontario. Patterns of diatom and macroinvertebrates taxon distributions in relation to environmental variables were determined using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). ‘Total nitrate, phosphate, conductivity and alkalinity were significant in explaining diatom data, while alkalinity, total nitrate, ammonium and total nitrogen were significant in explaining invertebrate data. The Eigen values of the first two CCA axes were significant (p < 0.05) for both diatoms and invertebrates, while the invertebrate analysis explained more taxonomic variation (19o/o r., s 120/o). Regression and calibration models were developed for total nitrate. The correlation between taxon-inferred and observed values was higher for diatoms than invertebrates in the analysis (0.70 zs. 0.59); however, cross-validation with bootstrapping indicated that apparent coefficients may be inflated. Biotic indices were also calculated. The composite invertebrate metric scores gave a slightly closer representation of water quality conditions than the diatom trophic index, but, biotic indices were not as effective as CCA in describing sites. Overall, the invertebrate and diatom communities were similar in their abilities to predict water quality.

Sharma et al., (2006), investigated the water quality assessment of Behta River using macroinvertebrates. They discovered that aquatic macroinvertebrates play significant role in responding to a variety of environmental condition of rivers and streams and therefore may be used as bio-indicators for water quality assessment. They choose the Behta River of Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh assess the suitability of river water for drinking purposes. Their study involved sampling, pre-identification and identification of macroinvertebrates and computing the percent of occurrence of families of various taxonomic groups and conducting physico-chemical analysis of samples from selected location. Macroinvertebrates chosen were identified up to family level, and bio-assessment at various locations was done using NEPBIOS score system. It was found that out of total of 30 genus belonging to 10 families of taxonomical group like Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, Plecoptera, Coleoptera, Heteroptera, Odonata, Diptera Mollusca, Oligochaetes etc were found in different composition inhabiting the river. The results further show that all the locations assessed for quality using macroinvertebrates and physico-chemical analysis were in the range of water  quality class ill (Moderately Polluted) and the water cannot be used for drinking purposes.

Emere et al., (2009), carried out a survey which was conducted from March to September, 2005 on a fourth order perennial Northern Nigerian stream to evaluate the water quality using the macrobenthic invertebrate community of the bank root biotope. The physico-chemical variables were determined using standard methods. A total of 1304 macroinvertebrates were recovered. Twenty-seven taxa were recorded. The higher number of taxa (23) was recorded at station 2. The abundance of individuals was highest at station 3. The presence of low densities of pollution tolerant macroinvertebrate groups, the deteriorating water quality and the physico-chemical conditions of the water during the dry season months was a reflection of organic pollution stress caused by decomposing domestic refuse and inorganic fertilizer washed into the stream by irrigation.

Nkwoji et al., (2010), surveyed the implication of bioindicator in ecological health: study of a coastal lagoon, Lagos, Nigeria. The study of the benthic macroinvertebrates and water chemistry of three polluted sites and one relatively clean site of the Lagos lagoon were investigated by monthly sample collection from September, 2009 to February, 2010. Their aim was to use the population dynamics of some macro benthic invertebrates to assess the health status of the study area. The total Dissolved Solids, Total Suspended Solids, Total Organic Carbon and Conductivity of the water samples showed significant differences among the sampling stations (p<0.05). Other physico-chemical parameters showed no significant difference (p>0.05) among the study stations. A total of 9 invertebrate taxa made up of 571 individuals were recorded. Station 3 had the largest number of species (8) and individuals (447) accounting for 78.28% of the total number of individual collected throughout the period of study. Station 4 recorded the least number of individuals (9) accounting for only about 1.58%. The class gastropoda had the highest number of individuals (546) accounting for about 95.62% of individuals collected in all the stations. The low faunal abundance in the three polluted sites and the presence of pollution tolerant species in these sites were indications that these stations were ecologically unhealthy sites.

Pransanth et al., (2013), surveyed the aquatic macroinvertebrate as bioindicator of stream water quality- a case study in Koratty, Kerala, India. The paper discusses the results of an attempt to test the suitability of aquatic macroinvertebrates as bioindicator of stream water quality in a natural water course locally referred as Koratty chal that runs through the length of agricultural lands in Koratty region. Rapid bioassessment protocol recommended by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was followed utilizing Kick net and D’net of 500μm mesh size to sample the macroinvertebrates. Family Biotic Index (FBI) calculated using the tolerance value of different taxa showed that there was remarkable variation in water quality along the stream. FBI values were around 4.1-5.0 in upstream reaches indicating good water quality. Deterioration of water quality downstream was evidenced in the FBI value of 5.3-5.5 in the mid reaches and 6.0-6.5 in the lower reaches. These values were also found to be in conformity with the water quality as assessed at the biomonitoring sites. It was thus concluded that biomonitoring is feasible in such streams in the region to obtain a quick assessment of water quality.






Numu pond came into existence as a result of human activities at Numu layout at Rafin – Yashi village in Bosso, Minna, Niger state. These activities included excavation of sand from the site by building developers around the vicinity which overtime, became a sort of a ground reservoir holding water during rainy seasons but completely dries out during the dry season, from the months of November-March.  It lies between the latitude 6o30’27”E – 6o30’25”E and longitude 9o40’6”N – 9o40’5”N of the equator.  It is located in Bosso Local Government Area, in Minna, Niger State.  The pond was divided into three study sites, A, B and C (Fig. 3.1). The climate in Minna is tropical with annual temperature, relative humidity and rainfall of 30.20C, 61% and 1334mm, respectively. The climate represents two distinct seasons, a rainy season between April and October, with the highest mean monthly rainfall in September and a dry season (November-March) completely.



 Physicochemical Parameters

The mean, standard error, minimum and maximum values, ANOVA (F-values) of physical and chemical parameters of the different sites in Numu pond at Minna are summarized in Table 4.1. Temperature, Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrate and Phosphate where not significantly different in the sites (p>0.05) while Temperature, Conductivity, Nitrate and Phosphate shows significant differences in the months sampled (p<0.05). Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), DO and pH shows no significant differences among the months (p>0.05).




Physicochemical Parameters

Numu pond showed two characteristics season, a dry and a wet season as earlier reported by (Imoobe & Oboh, 2003; Edegbene & Arimoro, 2012).

The physicochemical parameters were particularly high in the value of temperature, conductivity, DO and BOD (Edegbene et al. 2012).

Water temperature (28.3oC – 32.8oC) observed in this study is tropical of most tropical lotic water bodies in Nigeria as earlier reported by Arimoro et al. (2007). The range of temperature in the three sites studied showed no marked difference. Though site B recorded the highest water temperature of 32.8oC. This result is in consonant with the result of Arimoro & Ikomi (2008); Edegbene & Arimoro (2012). The absence of riparian vegetations may also results to high temperature of a particular water bodies (Arimoro & Ikomi, 2008; Edegbene et al. 2012).

The pH value in this study was slightly acidic. Site B was more acidic with a pH value of 6.1 when compared to others. The pH value ranged from 6.1 – 6.9 in the three sites. This value is in contrast with earlier report by Arimoro et al. (2008) in Warri River, Delta State. The acidic nature of this pond may be as a result of nearby farm settlement that uses some chemicals in their farming activities.

Conductivity measures the total ionic composition of water and overall chemical richness. It also quantitatively reflects the status of organic pollution and a measure of dissolved solids and ions in water (Jonnalagadda & Mhere, 2001). The conductivity value in the three (3) sites ranged from 102-987µ/cm, which is high. The conductivity value in River Borkena, Ethiopia, Abebe et al. (2009) recorded a conductivity value of 105 – 1200 µs/cm which was exceptionally higher than the one recorded in this present study. The conductivity recorded in this study may be due to the influence of dissolved solid from nearby farms, because the pond is an open type, which have no riparian vegetations and maybe somehow limited the influx of erosional process during raining season. The pond is an ephemeral and lentic type of water body which tends to have a high degree of dissolved solids because flow velocity is minimal.

Conclusion and recommendations

The macroinvertebrates was sparse in Numu pond from the study result. This was due to the ephemeral and lentic nature of the pond. From the physicochemical parameters and macroinvertebrates sampled, it shows that the pond is becoming perturbed, probably due to various anthropogenic activities carried out along the course of the pond. Lending more credence to this is the presence of Ephemeroptera species that are tolerant to pollution. Chironomus which has been reported to dwell in heavily polluted water is also present in abundant form in the pond.

It is of this opinion that I would like to recommend more detailed research on the macroinvertebrates of Numu pond, especially their use as biological indicators of water quality. 


  • Abebe, B., Tafferre, A., Dermake, K., Worku, L., Helmet, K., Ludwig, T. (2009). Comparative study of severe water pollution: case study of the kebena and Akaki Rivers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ecological indicators 9:381-392.
  • Adakole, J. A., Anunne, A. A. (2003). Benthic macroinvertebrates as indicators of environmental quality of an urban stream, Zaria, Northern Nigeria, Journal of Aquatic Sciences 18(2): 85-92.
  • Adakole, J. A., (2001). The effect of domestic agricultural and industrial effluents on the water quality and biota of Bindare Stream, Zaria-Nigeria.PhD thesis, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.25pp.
  • ALPHA, (1992). American Public Health Association. Standard methods for the Examination of water and waste, 18th Ed. ALPHA, Washington DC.
  • Arimoro, F. O., & Ikomi, R. B. (2008). Response of macroinvertebrates communities to abbatoir wastes and other anthropogenic activities in a municipal stream in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Environmentalist, 28: 85-98.
  • Arimoro, F. O. (2009). Impact of rubber effluent discharges on the water quality and macroinvertebrates community assemblage in a forest stream in Niger Delta. Chemosphere 77: 440-449.
  • Arimoro, F. O. (2010). Microhabitat preference, diversity and ecology of aquatic mites in a municipal stream in the Niger Delta. Depart of Animal and Environmental Biology, Delta state University, P. M. B. 1, Abraka Nigeria. Journal of Applied Biosciences 27:1687-1996 ISSN 1997-5902.
  • Arimoro, F. O., & Muller, W. J. (2010): Mayfly (Insect: Ephemeroptera) community structure as an indicator of the ecological status of a stream in Niger Delta. Environment Monitoring Assessment 165:581-594.

WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!