Diversity of Microphytes and Macro-invertebrates in the Kitante stream and its "Tributaries" in the Uganda Golf Course
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Kitante stream and its tributaries are waterways within the Uganda Golf course and are urban water courses in the central division of Kampala and have undergone significant anthropogenic influence and as a result they have suffered greatly from pollution that has arisen from numerous settlements, application of herbicides during the maintenance of the Pasparum in the golf course hence negatively impacting the health of the stream ecosystem. A study was therefore carried out to investigate the diversity and abundance of microphytes and macro-invertebrates, ecological role of the course and how they are affected by physico-chemical parameters (i.e. temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, flow velocity, depth and width of the stream channel) along the watercourse. Three sampling sites were selected; upstream (site1), midstream (site 2) and downstream (site 3). From each of these points, biological (microphytes and macro-invertebrates), chemical (dissolved oxygen) and physical data (pH, flow velocity, temperature, width and depth and vegetation cover were sampled in triplicates. Results indicated 22 genera of microphytes recorded predominated by Navicula, Diatoms which had the largest abundance and Phacus, Oocystis which were rare. Individuals of macro-invertebrates belonging to nine families were also identified but predominated by Chironomidae (chironomids), Simulidae (Simulium latreille), Corculidae (Helocudulia), among others. Water temperature, pH, depth and width increased downstream except for dissolved oxygen and flow velocity that decreased. This was due to changes in water quality as a result of pollution from various anthropogenic activities such as dumping wastes directly into the stream. Thus, accumulating organic matter in the water channel resulting in an increase in stream temperature and decrease in dissolved oxygen. There was generally a significant relationship between the physico-chemical parameters with macro invertebrates and microphytes except for Navicula, Urothrix, Cylindospernum, Scenedesmus and Stauroneis. However, inorder to minimize pollution of streams, a distance of 30m away should be encouraged unless having obtained a written authority from the NEMA executive director according to the National Environment Act Cap153. The National Environment (Wetlands, River Banks and Lake Shores Management) Regulations, 2000; such that wastes from the nearby settlements are not directly disposed into the water course.