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Title: Seasonal variation and drivers of zooplankton, macroinvertebrate and littoral fish communities from irrigation ponds in a semi-arid region in the Eastern Cape (South Africa).
Authors: Dalu, Tatenda.
School of Biology and Environmental Sciences
Keywords: Agricultural landscapes.;Bottom-up processes.;Community patterns.;Sundays River Valley.;Temperature effects.
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Abstract: Irrigation ponds are increasingly abundant globally, particularly in water-stressed countries with limited natural surface waters, yet knowledge of their ecology is limited. Here, we assessed zooplankton, macroinvertebrate, and littoral fish communities from irrigation ponds located in the Sundays River Valley in South Africa. This study assessed the seasonal community patterns in response to physico-chemical and biotic components. Water temperature, water depth, Secchi depth, and ammonium concentrations differed significantly across seasons. Similarly, Chlorophyll-a concentrations differed seasonally, with water transparency identified as the main driver. Zooplankton was dominated by Rotifera, Copepoda and Cladocera. Seasonal changes in temperature and subsequent fluctuations in water levels resulted in changes in zooplankton community. Macroinvertebrates were dominated by insects, notably the families Corixidae and Naucoridae. The littoral fish community comprised of Glossogobius callidus, Oreochromis mossambicus and Gambusia affinis. Zooplankton, macroinvertebrates and littoral fish abundances, species richness, diversity and assemblage composition differed significantly across seasons with temperature identified as the main driver of these differences. This study demonstrates that bottom-up processes are the dominant drivers of the irrigation pond communities in the Sundays River Valley and highlights the relevance of seasonal abiotic drivers in structuring these communities, particularly G. callidus and G. affinis.
Description: Please note that only UMP researchers are shown in the metadata. To access the co-authors, please view the full text.
DOI: 10.2989/16085914.2021.1924608
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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