Diversity and Life Forms of Aquatic Macrophytes in Relation to Physicochemical Parameters of River Ethiope in Delta State, Nigeria

Agbogidi, O. M, Nwabueze, Ndam, Edema, N. E, Erhenhi, A.H, Obi-Iyeke, E.G


The life forms and diversity of aquatic macrophytes in line with the physicochemical parameters of River Ethiope were investigated. Aquatic macrophytes from three stations: Umuaja (upstream), Abraka (mid-stream) and Amukpe (downstream) were manually collected from three sites in each station along the bank of the river by hand and machete, sieve for the floating, submerged and emergent species for a period of three months November, 2018 to January, 2019. Also, samples of water were collected using sterile 250 ml corked bottles from study locations. Results show that twenty six taxa of macrophytes exhibiting four major life forms: embankment, emergent, submerged and floating were recorded from River Ethiope. In Abraka, 22 macrophytes were encountered, 11 in Amukpe and 5 in Umuaja. Fifteen families namely: Poaceae, Nymphaeaceae, Cyperacea, Ruppiaceae, Ranunculaceae, Menyanthaceae, Pontederiaceae, Amaranthaceae, Convolvulaceae, Nephrolepidaceae, Lamariopsidaceae, Zonteraceae, Hydrocharitacea, Araceae and Onagraceae were observed. Poaceae and Nymphaeaceae were more abundant (+++) while Araceae and Onagraceae were the least abundant (+). Water level, speed, transparency, pH and total alkalinity were significantly (P<0.05) different in each of the three locations. There was strong positive relationship between air and surface temperature with water level throughout the period of study. The study revealed that minimal monthly variations in physicochemical parameters existed in each of the three stations and that River Ethiope is a biodiversity hot spot. This study is useful for the continued assessment and ecosystem observation of the physicochemical properties of River Ethiope as it affects the macrophytes in the river.


Water quality, macrophytes, River Ethiope, diversity

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