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Characteristic Relationships between Phosphorous Accrual, Ecosystem Aspects and Water Level Fluctuations in Tropical Lakes: Naivasha Ramsar Site, Kenya

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: Hydrological dynamics affect water levels and thus affecting ecosystem structure and functions. Lake levels in tropical ecosystems affect phosphorous input through runoff from adjacent watersheds. The resultant biological community, water and sediment quality of the lakes due to water level changes is a reflection of the geology of the area and the anthropogenic activities in the watershed. The study conducted between January 2018 and December 2019 was to explore relationships between the phosphorous input and Water Level Fluctuations (WLF) recorded by Water Resource Authority (WRA). Lake water samples were analyzed in the laboratory for phosphorous using molybdenum blue-ascorbic method and recorded using spectrophotometer. Chlorophyll-a was determined by extracting a filtered sample with 15 ml acetone and incubating overnight and thereafter read using a double beam spectrophotometer. Total Suspended Solids (TSS) was determined by filtering 200 ml of a water sample and dried overnight at 105°C. The lowest and highest phosphorous concentrations recorded were 0.2 mg l and 0.42 mg l at NST7 and NST2, respectively. Measurements of Chlorophyll-a were 0.32 mg l and 0.42 mg l at NST9 and NST2, respectively. Secchi transparency measurements were 32.9 cm at NST3 and 84 cm at NST1. The highest and lowest TSS concentrations were 0.14 mg l and 0.13 mg l at NTS1 and NST8, respectively. The hydrodynamic regime in most tropical lakes plays a significant role in the re-reaction of phosphorous that consequently influences productivity. Tropical lakes have extreme lake level fluctuations which accelerate the production process. The influence of water level changes on aquatic productivity is crucial in most tropical lakes and should be taken into consideration when assessing the environmental impacts.

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