Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Original Article

Phytoplankton as bioindicators of water quality in Nasarawa reservoir, Katsina State Nigeria

Fitoplâncton como bioindicadores da qualidade da água do reservatório de Nasarawa, estado de Katsina, Nigéria

Zahraddeen Hassan Yusuf

Downloads: 4
Views: 2202


Abstract: : Aim: Phytoplankton monitoring as bioindicators to assess the health of the Nasarawa reservoir and also to evaluate the relationship between phytoplankton and reservoir environmental variables.

Methods: Phytoplankton and water samples from Nasarawa reservoir (Nigeria) were collected and analysed for ten months (February, 2018 to November, 2018) using standard methods at five sampling sites.

Results: A total of 38 genera belonging to five major families such as: Bacillariophyceae (42%), Chlorophyceae (24%) Cyanophyceae (13%), Deemidiaceae (18%) and Euglenophyceae (3%) were recorded. Four Phytoplankton classes; Bacillariophyta, Chlorophyta Cyanophyta, and Desmidiaceae show positive close relation with dissolved oxygen, pH, transparency, and total dissolved solids. The overall phytoplankton density in the reservoir was higher in dry season than the wet season. Palmer pollution index was employed to study the water quality of the reservoir. The total score was calculated to be 25, showing evidence of high organic pollution.

Conclusions: The presence of organic pollution indicators Closterium sp, Navicula sp, Nitzschia sp, Synedra sp, Chlamydomonas sp, Cyclotella sp and Anacystis sp is a warning sign of the deteriorating condition of the water quality in the reservoir. Measures need to be enforced to reduce the rate of pollution of the reservoir arising from the human activities in the catchment of the reservoir.


bioindicators, pollution, phytoplankton, Nasarawa Reservoir


Resumo: : Objetivo: Monitoramento do fitoplâncton como bioindicador para avaliar a condição do reservatório de Nasarawa e também avaliar a relação entre o fitoplâncton e as variáveis ​​ambientais do reservatório.

Métodos: Amostras de fitoplâncton e água do reservatório de Nasarawa (Nigéria) foram coletadas e analisadas de forma padronizada durante dez meses (fevereiro de 2018 a novembro de 2018) em cinco locais de amostragem.

Resultados: Foram registrados 38 gêneros pertencentes a cinco principais famílias: Bacillariophyceae (42%), Chlorophyceae (24%) Cyanophyceae (13%), Deemidiaceae (18%) e Euglenophyceae (3%). Quatro classes de fitoplâncton; Bacillariophyta, Chlorophyta Cyanophyta e Desmidiaceae mostram relação positiva com oxigênio dissolvido, pH, transparência e sólidos totais dissolvidos. A densidade total de fitoplâncton no reservatório foi maior na estação seca do que na estação chuvosa. O índice de poluição de Palmer foi empregado para avaliar a qualidade da água do reservatório. A pontuação total foi calculada em 25, mostrando evidências de poluição orgânica elevada.

Conclusões: A presença de indicadores de poluição orgânica Closterium sp, Navicula sp, Nitzschia sp, Synedra sp, Chlamydomonas sp, Cyclotella sp e Anacystis sp é um sinal de alerta para a deterioração das condições da qualidade da água do reservatório. Medidas são necessárias para reduzir a taxa de poluição do reservatório decorrente das atividades humanas na bacia hidrográfica do reservatório.


bioindicadores, poluição, fitoplâncton, reservatório Nasarawa


AKKÖZ, C. and GÜLER, S. The algal flora of Topçu Lake (Yozgat) I: Epilithic and Epiphytic Algae. Selçuk University Journal of Science Faculty, 2004, 23, 7-14.

ALVAREZ-GÓNGORA, C. and HERRERA-SILVEIRA, J.A. Variations of phytoplankton community structure related to water quality trends in a tropical karstic coastal zone. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2005, 52(1), 48-60. PMid:16194550.

AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION – APHA. Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. Washington, DC: APHA, 2005.

ANAGO, I.J., ESENOWO, I.K. and UGWUMBA, A.A.A. The Physico-chemical and Plankton Diversity of Awba Reservoir University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Nigeria Research. Journal of Environment and Earth Science, 2013, 5(1), 638-644.

ARAOYE, P.A. The seasonal variation of pH and Dissolved Oxygen (DO2) concentration in Asa lake Ilorin, Nigeria. International Journal of Physical Sciences, 2009, 4(5), 271-274.

AVERETT, R.C. and SCHRODER, L.J. A guide to the design of surface-water-quality studies. Denver: U.S. Geological Survey, 1994 [viewed 14 Dec. 2018]. Available from publication/ofr93105

BALARABE, M.L. Effect of limnological characteristics on zooplankton composition and distribution in dumbi and kwangila ponds Zaria, Nigeria [Phd Thesis]. Zaria: Department of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, 2001.

CHELLAPPA, N.T., CÂMARA, F.R.A. and ROCHA, O. Phytoplankton community: indicator of water quality in the Armando Ribeiro Gonçalves Reservoir and Pataxó Channel, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, 2009, 69(2), 241-251. PMid:19675924.

CHUKWU, G.O. Land suitability classification of Southeastern Nigeria wetlands for azolla. Scientific Research and Essays, 2007, 2(12), 512-515.

EGBORGE, A.B.M. Water pollution in Nigeria Vol. 1: Biodiversity and chemistry of Warri River. Warri: Ben Miller Books Nig. Ltd., 1994, 313 p.

EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY – EEA. Nutrients in European Ecosystems. Environmental Assessment Report No. 4. Copenhagen: European Environmental Agency, 1999, 155 p.

GHARIB, S.M., EL-SHERIF, A.Z.M., ABDEL-HALIM, M. and RADWAN, A.A. Phytoplankton and environmental variables as a water quality indicator for the beaches at Matrouh, south-eastern Mediterranean Sea, Egypt: an assessment. Oceanologia, 2011, 53(3), 819-836.

GNANAMURTHY, P., SUNIL K. S., and ASHOK P. V. Multivariate analysis of Phytoplankton in relation to physicochemical parameters disparity in Parangipettai Waters, Southeast Coast of India. Asian Journal of Biological Sciences, 2013, 43(1), 1-20.

GOOGLE. Nasarawa Dam [online]. (2018). [viewed 20 Feb. 2018]. Available from:,7.3683719,211 19m/data=!3m1!1e3

GOWDA, G., GUPTA, T.R.C., RAJESH, K.M., GOWDA, H., LINGADHALAND, C. and RAMESH, A.M. Seasonal distribution of phytoplankton in Nethravathi estuary, Mangalore. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India, 2001, 43(1), 31-40.

INDABAWA, I.I. Studies on Limnological parameters and Phytoplankton dynamic of Nguru lake Yobe state Nigeria. Bioscience Resources Communication, 2010, 21(4), 57-80.

KOZAK, A. Seasonal changes occurring over four years in a Reservoir’s Phytoplankton Composition. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 2005, 14(4), 451-465.

MAHAR, M.A. Ecology and Taxonomy of Plankton of Manchhar lake (Distt. Dadu), Sindh, Pakistan [PhD. Thesis]. Pakistan: University of Sindh, 2003. [viewed 12 Dec. 2018]. Available from:, 2003

MARGALEF, R. Estimating quantity and quality of biomass counting. In: R.A. VOLLENWEIDER, ed. A manual on methods for measuring primary production in aquatic environments. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publication, 1974, 213 p.

MILLER, R.L., BRADFORD, W.L. and PETERS, N.E. Specific Conductance: Theoretical Considerations and Application to Analytical Quality Control. Denver: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper, 1988 [viewed 14 Dec. 2018]. Available from:

MUSTAPHA, M.K. Effects of human activities on the biodiversity of a tropical man-made lake. Nigerian Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 2006, 21, 1960-1968.

NAGARAJAH, S., EMERSON, B.N., ABEYKOON, V., and YOGALINGAM, S. Water quality of some wells in Jaffna and Killinochchi with special reference to nitrate pollution. Tropical Agriculturist, 1988, 44, 61-73.

NASELLI-FLORES, L. and BARONE, R. Water-Level Fluctuations in mediterranean reservoirs: setting a dewatering threshold as a management tool to improve water quality. Hydrobiologi, 2005, 548(1), 85-99.

NASELLI-FLORES, L. Man-made lakes in Mediterranean semi-arid climate: The strange case of Dr Deep Lake and Mr Shallow Lake. Hydrobiologia, 2003, 506(1-3), 13-21.

NEEDHAM, J.G. and NEEDHAM, P.R. A guide to the study of fresh water biology. San Francisco: Holding-Day Inc., 1975, pp. 1-108.

PALMER, C.M. Algae & Water Pollution. England: Castle House Publishers Ltd, 1980.

PALMER, C.M. Composite rating of algae tolerating organic pollution. Journal of Phycology, 1969, 5(1), 78-82. PMid:27097257.

REYNOLDS, C.S. Phytoplankton periodicity: The interactions of form, function and environmental variability. Freshwater Biology, 1984, 14(2), 111-142.

ROUND, F.E. The ecology of algae. Cambridge: CUP Archive, 1984.

SHANNON, C.E. and WEAVER, W. The mathematical theory of communication. Illinois: Urban University, Illinois Press, 1949, pp. 125-126.

SOWUNMI, A.A. The hydrology of Ologe Lagoon and River Owo at Agbara, South-West Nigeria [M.Phil. Thesis]. Nigeria: Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan, 2001, 180 p.

TANIMU, Y., BAKO, S.P., ADAKOLE, J.A. and TANIMU, J. Phytoplankton as bioindicators of water quality in saminaka reservoir, Northern-Nigeria. In: International Symposium on Environmental Science and Technology. Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China; Environmental Science and Technology, 2011, pp. 83-87.

TRIVEDI, R.K. Limnology of three fresh water ponds in Manglore. In: National Symposium on Advances in limnology conservation of endangered fish species. Srinagar, Garhwal: Narendra Pub. House, 1989, pp. 23-25.

WETZEL, R.G. and LIKENS, G.E. Limnological analysis. 3rd ed. New York: Springer Verlag, 2000, pp. 654-656.

WETZEL, R.G. Limnology: Lake and river ecosystems. 3rd ed. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 2001.

WILM, J.L. and DORRIS, T.C. Species diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates in a stream receiving domestic and oil refinery effluents. In: S.M. ISLAM. Phytoplankton diversity index with reference to mucalinda serovar Bodh-Gaya, 12th World Lack Conference. Taal, India, American Midland Naturalist, 2007, pp. 427-449.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

Publication date:

5f285bb40e882571010e4938 alb Articles
Links & Downloads

Acta Limnol. Bras. (Online)

Share this page
Page Sections