Title: The status of a river ecosystem in Swaziland: a case of Lusushwana River in Matsapha

Authors: Saico S. Singwane; Sihle W. Magagula

Addresses: University of Swaziland, Private Bag 4, Kwaluseni, M201, Swaziland ' University of Swaziland, Private Bag 4, Kwaluseni, M201, Swaziland

Abstract: Biodiversity is a fundamental aspect in ecology and nature conservation. Over the decades it has suffered immensely due to human activities. This study focused on the biodiversity status of Lusushwana River and how it correlates with river quality in three sampling sites. The study also investigated the issue of anthropogenic activities within a catchment, which in turn impacts on a riverine ecosystem as a functional unit. Methods used include, judgment sampling techniques, Shannon biodiversity index and transect data collection techniques and the Shannon biodiversity index versus IDAHO water quality index to illustrate the relationship between the two quantitative data sets. Spearman's rank correlation shows that the two are related through correlation with an R value of +0.5 for Lusushwana River. Species diversity was found to be 2.40 with phragmites dominating the river ecosystem. Water quality had an IDAHO index value of 1.67; hence not ideal for drinking and swimming.

Keywords: river ecosystems; Lusushwana River; Shannon biodiversity index; fauna; flora; river physiology; IDAHO water quality index; Swaziland.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHST.2014.068445

International Journal of Hydrology Science and Technology, 2014 Vol.4 No.4, pp.294 - 309

Received: 07 Jun 2014
Accepted: 15 Oct 2014

Published online: 15 Apr 2015 *

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