Assessment of phytoplankton composition and physicochemical parameters of Omasi rice field, Anambra State, Nigeria

The microalgae and physicochemical parameters of floodwater of Omasi rice field in Anambra State, Nigeria were studied. Samples for the studies were collected at monthly intervals. The microalgae were studied using light microscopy and identified with taxonomic keys, text books and photograph materials from the internet. The physicochemical parameters and coliform content of the floodwater were analysed using the methods described by the American Public Health Association. Simple means of the parameters and percentages of the algal populations were calculated, while Pearson correlation (p ≤ 0.05) was used to check for significance of the relationships between the investigated parameters. A total of 12 algal taxa belonging to Chlorophyta (48.99%), Cyanophyta (32.89%), Euglenophyta (10.07%), and Bacillariophyceae (8.05%) were recorded in decreasing order of abundance. Water temperature ranged from 26-38 °C with mean of 33.3 ± 2.56 °C; colour ranged from 15-175 Hazen units with mean of 86.25 ± 33.19 Hazen units; depth of water ranged from 7-10.5 cm with mean of 9.38 ± 0.8 cm. Ranges of nitrates and phosphates with their respective means were 0.5-1.8 mg/l (0.86±0.31 mg/l) and 0.79-1.96 mg/l (1.18±0.28 mg/l). Omasi rice field supported the growth of diverse algal groups and species; this may be as a result of available nutrients and good climate as can be deduced from the correlation analyses. Omasi rice field is typical of tropical freshwaters and some tropical rice fields that have been studied in terms of microalgal diversities and some physicochemistry.

 Ude, Bartholomew Okwudilichukwu and Nweze, Nkechinyere Onyekwere