Stream biodiversity and monitoring in North Central, Nigeria: the use of macroinvertebrate indicator species as surrogates

Abstract

Indicator species (IS) have been employed in modern aquatic research for monitoring of environmental changes and evaluating the efficiency of environmental management procedures. In this study, we evaluated the possibility of developing surrogate indicator groups as tools for the conservation and management of the biodiversity of Northern Nigeria streams by surveying 15 streams in Niger state for benthic macroinvertebrates and environmental variables as data sets, over a period of 24 months (2016 and 2017). Samples were collected in two locations of reference and impacted sites for each of the streams surveyed. The statistically significant (P < 0.05; based on 1000 permutations) indicator species for each of the status classes (reference versus impacted) was identified using the indicator species analysis/indicator value (Indval) method. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was used to evaluate the IS-environment relationships. Indicator value found fifteen species for the reference streams including Ephemeropteran (Bugilliesia sp., Tricorythus sp., Thraulus sp., Crassabwa sp.) and the Tricopteran (Leptonema sp.). Opposite, the Indval found seven (7) indicator species for the impacted streams, which included the Dipteran (Pentaneura sp., Tabanus sp.). Multivariate analysis revealed that species assemblage had wide dispersal patterns in relation to the sites for both status classes. CCA revealed that the reference and impacted indicator species responded to entirely different environmental factors, indicating their preference to particular environmental variables along the ecological gradients. While the indicator species of reference sites were associated with environmental predictors of good water quality such as high DO, increased flow, low conductivity, and low BOD, the indicator species of impacted sites were strongly related to environmental predictors of anthropogenic pollution, including low DO, high BOD, and increased nutrients concentrations. This study has provided a reference point and effective tool to monitor environmental changes, community, and ecosystem dynamics across the Northern Nigeria streams.

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Data Availability

The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.

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Funding

This work was supported by the International Foundation for Science, Sweden in a grant given to the second author (IFS ref: I-2-A-6209-1). This experiment complied with the current laws of the country, Nigeria, in which it was performed.

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FOA and UNK wrote the manuscript while UNK performed data analysis. FOA designed the study. UNK designed the study and performed the sample collection and analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Francis O. Arimoro.

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Arimoro, F.O., Keke, U.N. Stream biodiversity and monitoring in North Central, Nigeria: the use of macroinvertebrate indicator species as surrogates. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12922-w

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Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Tolerant species
  • Surrogates
  • Conservation
  • Sensitive species
  • Reference