Diatom community structure in relation to environmental factors in human influenced rivers and streams in tropical Africa
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE), Red Sea Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/667305
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AbstractThe contemporaneous effect of natural and anthropogenic factors involved in a watershed contribution to the seasonal and spatial variation of diatom community composition is widely discussed in the scientific literature. Yet, there is a paucity of scientific evidence indicating the effect of these factors on diatoms in tropical African regions characterized by distinct dry and wet seasons and season associated human activities like rainfed agriculture are commonly practiced. We applied multivariate techniques to determine the spatio-temporal drivers of diatom assemblage and diatom species richness in human influenced rivers and streams in Ethiopia. We simultaneously collected water and diatom samples from 24 sampling points during the wet (July) and dry (February) seasons. Both water and diatom samples were processed following standard procedures. We identified 169 species belonging to 45 genera in the studied lotic systems. We found that both season and land use factors were important in defining diatom composition (PERMANOVA, p<0.05) and species richness (ANOVA, p<0.05) patterns. Diatom community composition was driven by conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and turbidity parameters (Monte Carlo permutation test, p<0.05). Besides, diatom species richness was driven by dissolved oxygen, soluble reactive phosphorus, and turbidity (GLMM, p<0.05). The study highlighted physicochemical parameters influenced by seasonal variation and human activity determined the composition of diatoms. This implies that the unique feature of heavy rain during the rainy season in the region followed by extensive flooding aggravated by the steep slope from the highlands to the lowlands plays a major role in shaping the diatom autecology in the region. Therefore, in applying biomonitoring in such regions considering the effect of runoff and dilution is imperative.
CitationShibabaw, T., Beyene, A., Awoke, A., Tirfie, M., Azage, M., & Triest, L. (2021). Diatom community structure in relation to environmental factors in human influenced rivers and streams in tropical Africa. PLOS ONE, 16(2), e0246043. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0246043
SponsorsVrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Jimma University institutions for their financial and logistic supports during the study.
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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