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Choice of benthic macroinvertebrate-based metrics for assessing water quality in the littoral zone under anthropogenic disturbance in southern Lake Kivu (Central Africa)
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  • Béni Hyangya,
  • Alidor Kankonda Busanga,
  • Dusabe Marie-Claire,
  • Murhimanya Jean-Diste Kulimushi,
  • Kaningini Boniface Mwenyemali,
  • Pascal Masilya
Béni Hyangya
Institut Superieur Pedagogique de Bukavu
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Alidor Kankonda Busanga
Universite de Kisangani
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Dusabe Marie-Claire
Justus Liebig University
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Murhimanya Jean-Diste Kulimushi
Institut Superieur Pedagogique de Bukavu
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Kaningini Boniface Mwenyemali
Institut Superieur Pedagogique de Bukavu
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Pascal Masilya
Institut Superieur Pedagogique de Bukavu
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Abstract

Benthic macroinvertebrates are widely used to assess the ecological quality of fresh waters. This is because they are in direct contact with the aquatic environment and respond differently to pollutants and changes in the watershed, which are difficult to assess by toxicological or chemical monitoring alone. this study used benthic macroinvertebrate parameters to assess the quality of the nearshore waters of lake Kivu. Twenty-six metrics covering various aspects of the community were tested using whisker plots to compare their sensitivity in discriminating between reference and disturbed stations. Nine parameters (% EPT taxa, % Diptera taxa, % Chironomid taxa, % Insect taxa; % no Insects taxa, ratio EPT/Chironomid taxa, % moderate tolerant taxa, % very moderate tolerant taxa, Family Biotic Index) were found to be sensitive and were able to discriminate between reference and disturbed stations. All sensitive metrics, with the exception of the percentage of EPT taxa, were positively and/or negatively correlated with the physico-chemical parameters affected by the changes in the littoral zone. The combined values of the three calculated biotic indices (ASPT, BMWP and FBI) showed that the biological water quality varies from moderate to good in the reference stations and from average to poor in the disturbed stations. It is concluded that metrics based on benthic macroinvertebrates are effective for assessing water quality in the littoral zone of Lake Kivu in the context of the lack of historical water quality databases and specific tools for toxicological assessment. It is suggested to compare the performance of this approach with others currently used in bio-indication.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

23 Nov 2021Submitted to Ecohydrology
26 Nov 2021Assigned to Editor
26 Nov 2021Submission Checks Completed
30 Nov 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
30 Nov 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned