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Assessment of the ecological impacts of floriculture industries using benthic macroinvertebretes metric index along Wedecha River, Debrezeit, Ethiopia

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Development and Environmental Management Studies, University of Gondar, PoBox 196, Gondar, Ethiopia

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 6, Issue (7), Pages 1-16, June,2 (2017)


Wedecha River was loaded with floriculture industries effluent in Debrezeit; which is very important for agriculture and domestic activities of the surrounding people. It was exposed to waste water discharge from floriculture industries. Biological information was used to assess the quality of water and anthropogenic impacts on aquatic ecosystem. A total of 6 sites, one reference site less impaired to represent natural conditions from upstream, and 5 impaired sites in the downstream were sampled for macroinvertebrates parameters in the Wedecha River to assess the quality of water, ecology of the river and impact on aquatic life. Impaired sites data were compared to reference conditions. 18 metrics representing richness, composition and tolerance/intolerance measures were considered for the index development. Of these, 7 metrics were found to be useful because they give unique information in the reference site with impaired sites. The metrics used for the development of index were total number of taxa, number of Mollusca, percent Hemiptera, percent Chironomidae, percent Coleoptera, percent Mollusca and percent dominant taxon. The metrics were scored on a continuous scale from 0 (poor) to 10 (good) using the upper and lower threshold of their distribution in the reference and impaired sites. For the development of Wedecha river index, scales were added to produce a score from 0-100. The index was divided into four classes; greater than 75 was very good (S0=100), 50-74.9 was good (no metric in this division), 25-49.9 was poor (S5=44) and less than 24.9 was very poor (S1, S2, S3 and S4 with a MI score of 13.4, 5.4, 3.6, and 9.3, respectively). The MI was effective for distinguishing impacted sites. Therefore, floriculture industries wastewater discharged to the nearby rivers has enormous effect on the degradation of the ecosystem. To sustain the ecological conditions of the nearby rivers, wastewater treatment and environmental audit are suggested. Environmental assessment and environmental auditing enables the floriculturist to keep humans and the environment safe. Taking care of workers, soil, water and the environment has to be seen with great care and caution because it is difficult to maintain a healthy community and carry out development in a degraded environment.


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