Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 166, Issue 1–4, pp 581–594 | Cite as

Mayfly (Insecta: Ephemeroptera) community structure as an indicator of the ecological status of a stream in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria

  • Francis Ofurum ArimoroEmail author
  • Wilhelmine J. Muller


Ephemeroptera is an important group of insects used in the bioassessment and monitoring of freshwater bodies worldwide because of their relative abundance in a wide variety of substrates and their increasing chances of detecting pollution impacts. In this study, their faunistic composition and spatiotemporal variations in density and diversity in River Orogodo (Southern Nigeria) was investigated at five ecologically distinct stations over a 12-month period. The mayfly nymph community responses to environmental variables were evaluated by means of biological measures and multivariate analysis (redundancy analysis [RDA]). Thirteen morphologically distinct taxa belonging to six families were identified. The dominant taxa were Afrobaetodes pusillus (23.1%), Baetis sp. (13.7%), and Caenis cibaria (11.4%). The density of Ephemeroptera differed significantly (p < 0.05) both in space and time. Diversity was influenced by substrate heterogeneity which in turn was influenced by catchment processes such as flooding and anthropogenic activities especially abattoir effluent. Based on the RDA ordination and relative abundance data, Baetis sp. dominated at impacted stations while a more equitable distribution of species were observed in less disturbed sites. Water velocity, canopy cover, nature of bottom sediments, and the amount of dissolved oxygen also accounted for the variations in Ephemeroptera densities at the different stations. Shannon diversity, taxa richness, and evenness were lowest in station 3 (the abattoir discharge site).


Ephemeroptera Baetis  River Orogodo Niger Delta Diversity Spatiotemporal variations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis Ofurum Arimoro
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wilhelmine J. Muller
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Water ResearchRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyDelta State UniversityAbrakaNigeria

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