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Water quality, composition, abundance and distribution of plankton community in Obodu stream were assessed. The stream were divided into three stations for samplings, samples were collected from August 2019-July 2020 to reflect spatial and temporal dynamic water and plankton sample were collected rapidly in all the stations. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test significant difference among physico-chemical parameters within and between the stations at 0.05 level of significance while spearman correlation method was used to described the relationship between plankton abundance and phsico-chemical parameter. A total of (16) sixteen physic-chemical parameters were examined and had the following results: water temperature value ranged from 26.80oc to 27.30oc conductivity from 63µS/cm to 94µs/cm Ph from 4.9 to 6.9. total Dissolved solids and Dissolved Oxygen ranged from 37.0mg/1 to 94.1mg/m and 3.1/mg/1 to 6.7 mg/1. Total suspended solid ranged from 1.1 mg/1 to 4.2 mg/1, phosphate and Nitrate ranged from 0.3mg/1 to 3.1mg/1 and 0.1mg/1 to 2.2mg/1. The parameters showed clear seasoned variation among all the stations. There was no significant difference in all the parameters except zinc and Iron which showed similar trend. During the study, a total of (16) species of phytoplankton belonging to four (4) taxanomic group were recorded. The group chrysophyta was represented one species. Consisting of 6.25% composition by species, followed by xanthophyta represented by two species consisting of 12.5% species composition. Chlorophyta represented by five species (31.3%), and eight spices of cyanophyta (50%). While zooplankton fauna of Obohu stream comprised (4) phyla with a relative abundance of 3.74% across the stations were sampled. Copepods dominated with ten (10) species while protozoa were represented by one five families, copepods, dominated each station followed by cladocerans, rotifers, protozoa in this order. The taxa richness, diversity, evenness and dominance index showed that station 1 and 3 recorded high taxa richness (Margalef index) and diversity index values were low in station 2. Similarly, station 1 and 3 recorded high values of evenness (Simpson’s dominance index) values was high in station 2 compared to other two stations examined. It was recommended that human activities such as bathing and washing of clothes should not be carried out in the stream.


Title Page                                                                                                                    i

Declaration                                                                                                                  ii

Certification                                                                                                                iii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iv

Acknowledgements                                                                                                    v

Table of Contents                                                                                                       vi

List of Tables                                                                                                              x

List of Figures                                                                                                             xi

List of Plates                                                                                                               xii

Abstract                                                                                                                      xiii



CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION                                                                          1

1.1       Background of the Study                                                                               1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                                               3

1.2       Justification                                                                                                     3

1.4       Aims and Objectives                                                                                       4


CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW                                                              5

2.1       Physico-Chemical Parameters                                                             5

2.2       Plankton                                                                                                          7

2.2.1    Developmental stage                                                                                       8

2.3       Phytoplankton                                                                                                 8

2.3.1    Cyanophyta                                                                                                     8

 2.3.2   Chrysophyta                                                                                                    9

2.3.3    Euglenophyta                                                                                                  9

2.3.4    Pyrrophyta                                                                                                      9

2.3.5    Chlorophyta                                                                                                    10

2.4       Zooplankton                                                                                                    10

2.4.1    Rotifera                                                                                                           11

2.4.2    Copepoda                                                                                                        11

2.4.3    Cladocera                                                                                                        12

2.5       Plankton Abundance and Distribution                                                           12


CHAPTER 3: MATERIALS AND METHODS                                                   16

3.1       The Study Area                                                                                               16

3.2       Sampling Stations                                                                                           18

3.3       Water Sampling                                                                                              18

3.3.1    Water quality parameters                                                                                19

3.3.2    Temperature                                                                                                    19

3.3.3    Velocity                                                                                                         19

3.3.4    Electrical conductivity                                                                                    19

3.3.5    Total dissolved solids (filterable solids)                                                         19

3.3.6    Ph                                                                                                                    20

3.3.7    Dissolved oxygen                                                                                           20

3.3.8    Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5)                                                            21

3.3.9    Phosphate-phosphorus                                                                                    21

3.3.10 Nitrate-nitrogen                                                                                               22

3.3.11  Calcium                                                                                                           22

3.3.12  Magnesium                                                                                                      23

3.3.13 Heavy metal                                                                                                     23

3.4      Plankton Sampling                                                                                           24

CHAPTER 4: RESULTS                                                                                        26

4.1       Physicochemical Parameters                                                                           26

4.1.1    Water temperature                                                                                          26

4.1.2    Ph                                                                                                                    26

4.1.3    Electrical conductivity                                                                                    30

4.1.4    Total dissolved solids                                                                                     30

4.1.5    Total suspended solid (TSS)                                                                           33

4.1.6    Dissolved oxygen (DO).                                                                                 33

4.1.7    Biochemical dissolved oxygen (BOD)                                                           36

4.1.8    Turbidity                                                                                                         36

4.1.9    Phosphate                                                                                                        39

4.1.10  Nitrate                                                                                                             39

4.1.11  Calcium                                                                                                           42

4.1.12  Magnesium                                                                                                      42

4.1.13  Iron                                                                                                                 45

4.1.14  Zinc                                                                                                                 45

4.1.15  Copper                                                                                                            48

4.1.16  Manganese                                                                                                      48

4.2       Spatial Phytoplankton Composition, Abundance and Distribution               51

4.3       Spatial Community Structure for Phytoplankton                                           53

4.4       Temporal Phytoplankton Composition, Abundance and Distribution           55

4.5       Temporal Community Structure for Phytoplankton                                       57

4.6       Spatial Zooplankton Composition, Abundance and Distribution                  59

4.7       Spatial Community Structure for Zooplankton                                              61

4.8       Temporal Zooplankton Composition, Abundance and Distribution              63

4.9       Temporal Community Structure for Zooplankton                                          64

4.9.1    Result of correlation analysis between plankton abundance

            and physicochemical parameters                                                                     64

 4.10    Discussion of Result                                                                                       66




5.1       Conclusion                                                                                                      77

5.2       Recommendation                                                                                            78












 4.1:     Summary of physicochemical parameters measured at the stations of           27

            Obohu stream, Umuahia (with range in parenthesis)                                     

 4.2:     Spatial phytoplankton composition, abundance and distribution                   52

 4.3:     Spatial community structure for phytoplankton                                             54

 4.4:     Temporal phytoplankton composition, abundance and distribution               56

4.5:      Temporal community structure for phytoplankton                                         58

4.6:      Spatial zooplankton composition, abundance and distribution                      60

4.7:      Spatial community structure for zooplankton                                                 62



 3.1:     Map of Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria showing the sampling station of

            Obohu stream                                                                                                  17


 4.1:     Spatial and temporal variations in water temperature at the study stations

in Obohu stream, Umuahia.                                                                            28


 4.2:     Temporal variation in pH at the study station in Obohu stream                     29

 4.3:     Spatial and temporal variations in electrical conductivity at the study

stations in Obohu stream                                                                                31

4.4:      Spatial and temporal variations in total dissolved solid at the study

            stations in Obohu stream.                                                                               32

 4.5:     Spatial and temporal variations in total suspended solid at the study

stations in Obohu stream.                                                                               34

 4.6:     Spatial and temporal variation in dissolved oxygen at study stations in

            Obohu stream                                                                                                  35

 4.7:     Spatial and temporal variation in biochemical oxygen demand at study

stations in Obohu stream                                                                                37

 4.8:     Spatial and temporal variation in turbidity at study stations in Obohu

            stream                                                                                                              38

4.9:      Spatial and Temporal variation in Phosphate at the study stations in

            Obohu stream                                                                                                  40

4.10:    Spatial and temporal variation in Nitrate at the study stations in

Obohu stream                                                                                                  41


 4.11:   Spatial and temporal variations in calcium at the study stations of

            Obohu stream, Umuahia, Abia State.                                                                         43

4.12:    Spatial and temporal variation in magnesium at the study stations of

Obohu Stream, Umuahia, Abia State.                                                            44

 4.13:   Spatial and temporal variation in Iron at the study stations of

Obohu Stream, Umuahia, Abia State.                                                            46

4.14:    Spatial and temporal variation in zinc at the study stations of

Obohu stream, Umuahia, Abia State.                                                                         47


4.15:    Spatial and temporal variation in copper at the study stations of

Obohu stream, Umuahia, Abia State.                                                             49


4.16:    Spatial and temporal variation in manganese at the study stations

of Obohu stream, Umuahia, Abia State.                                                         50





1:         Rotifera (Brachionus falcatus, Brachionus calyciflorus, 

Platyiasquadricornis and Trichoceraierni)                                                     89

2:         Cladocera (Diaphansoma brachyrum, Microcyclops rubellus,

            Moinami crura)                                                                                               90

3:         Cyanophyta (Microcystiswesen bergiiand Coelosphaeriumn

            aegeliana)                                                                                                       91

4:         Chlorophyta (Planktosphaeria gelatinosa, Pediastrum simplex and

            Pediastrum+duplex)                                                                                       91









Water is the most vital valuable natural resources to the existence of any form of life (Olajuyigbe and Fasakin, 2010), the ubiquity of water in biota as the fulcrum of bio chemical metabolism rests on its unique physiochemical properties (Adeyemo et al., 2008). Uses of water include agricultural, domestic, industrial, recreational activities. The implications that such water becomes hazardous to aquatic plants and animals, as well as unfit for human consumption (Olayinka et al., 2013). Water contamination is a serious global issue that necessitates constant modification and elevation of water resource policies at all levels (International down to individual aquifers and wells). Most surface waters used for laundry, bathing, swimming, food cleaning, irrigation, and, in many cases, drinking have been highly polluted by human activity (Ubani et al.,2014) Water from these sources is contaminated with home, agricultural, and industrial pollutants, and is prone to cause waterborne illnesses (Ojekunle, 2012; Ayeni, 2014).

Water quality assessment entails the examination of physicochemical, biological, and microbiological factors, as well as consideration of the ecosystem's abiotic and biotic condition (Rajagopal et al., 2011). Aquatic organisms require a healthy environment as well as sufficient nutrients to survive and flourish. Neha, (2013).

The government's increased use of fertilizers in agriculture could result in a continued growth in metal pollution in fresh water due to water run-off Adefemi and Awokumi (2010). Plankton are microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) that can't swim against the stream's strong currents (Sheean and Sonya, 2009). Plankton has lately been employed as a bio-indicator to evaluate aquatic ecosystems and water quality (Beaugrand et al.2000; Li et al., 2000).   Plankton communities serve as the foundation for food chains that support commercial fisheries, according to Townsend et al., (2000) and Conde et al., (2007). An ecosystem's phytoplankton is critical to its normal operation. They are particularly sensitive to imposed changes in the environment, despite the fact that they are the producers (Eletta et al., 2005; Khattak et al., 2005).


Phytoplankton are plants (microsophic), drifting are the mercy of water current (Anene, 2003). They constitute the primary producers of aquatic ecosystems. Phytoplankton is the cornerstone of the aquatic organisms, providing a nutritious base for zooplankton, which then feeds other invertebrates, shellfish, and finfish (Emmanuel and Onyema, 2007). The abundance of plankton in any water body determines its productivity. (Davies et al., 2009).Freshwater phytoplankton, such as green algae, blue green algae, diatoms, and desmids, are significant members of the aquatic flora. Davies et al. (Davies et al., 2009). Phytoplankton communities have been reported to be substantial producers of organic carbon in big rivers, a food supply for planktonic consumers, and the predominant oxygen source in low-gradient rivers. They are important in the aquatic ecology, providing essential services such as carbon fixation and oxygen synthesis (Fathi et al., 2001).  They significantly contribute to the dynamic and succession of zooplankton in aquatic ecosystem without the diversity of abundance of aquatic life will be impossible (Suzie, 2015).


Zooplankton is a better bio-indicator for detecting anthropogenic pollution dispersal patterns and comprehending the incorporation and mobility of waste nitrogen in pelagic and benthic food chains (Xu and Zhang, 2012). They serve as bioindicators because they responsed to changes in the environment.  Zooplankton are important link in the transformation of energy from producers to consumers (Sharma et al., 2010). They are microscopic crustaceans that are important components food chain; as primary consumers, they respond to changes in the environment.  Thus, they can be used to assess the conditions in aquatic ecosystems (Hanazato et al., 2001, Brito et al., 2011, Ishaq and Khan, 2013, Primo et al., 2015). Zooplankton serves as an important organisms occurred abundantly in all types of aquatic habitats and have a vital role in energy transfer in aquatic ecosystems Altaff (2004).   Zooplankton has short life cycle but due to their competence to respond quickly to environmental changes, they easily indicate the mass of water features in which they are found.  Zooplanktonic organisms are said to be bio-indicators of water quality and degree of pollution because they are strongly influenced by environmental modification and retort rapidly to alternations in their locality (Dorak, 2013). 



Aquatic environments are increasingly subjected to pollution associated with urbanization, industrialization, population growth and other anthropogenic activities (Amah-Jerry et al., 2017; Anyanwu et al., 2019). Increase in human population, increased demand for food, land conversion and the use of fertilizers and pesticides have added various harmful chemicals to the water bodies including Obohu stream. These discharges are capable of altering plankton community.



In Nigeria, several researches have been carried out on plankton of fresh water with findings that variations in physical and chemical factors exert effect on the number, abundance and distribution of phytoplankton and zooplankton present in aquatic system resulting changes of the total number of species or organisms in fresh water bodies (Anyanwu et al., 2013; Arimoro et al., 2018; Odulate et al., 2018; Jonah et al., 2019).  At present, there is no such record on the composition, distribution and abundance of plankton in Obohu stream, Umuawa Alaocha, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria, although there are several activities such as farming, washing, bathing being carried out near the stream.  These activities might impact significantly on the physiochemical characteristic of the stream, which might directly or indirectly have impact on phytoplankton and zooplankton, composition, distribution and abundance.  Thus the health of the water might be doubtful since these activities cause decrease in water quality and affect the biotic organisms in the water.  Thus, there was need to evaluate the impact on water body to check whether composition, abundance and distribution of plankton community abundance and distribution are in order.  Water is of great importance for health and the villagers drink the stream water, use it for farming activities and other domestic purpose.



The purpose of this study is to assess water quality and plankton community in Obohu stream, Umuawa Alaocha Umuahia, Abia state, Nigeria, in relation to physic-chemical parameters. The particular goals are to determine some characteristics of Obohu stream physico-chemical parameter and compare them to standards.

·         To determine the abundance, composition and distribution of plankton communities Phytoplankton and Zooplankton) in Obohu stream.

·         To determine spatial and temporal variations of plankton communities (Phytoplankton and Zooplankton) in Obohu stream.

·         To relate the abundance, composition and distribution of plankton communities (Phytoplankton and Zooplankton) to the physico-chemical parameter of Obohu stream.

·         To determine the possible human impacts on the plankton communities and physico-chemical parameter of Obohu stream.


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