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Title: Relationships between wetland ecotones and inshore water quality in the Ugandan coast of Lake Victoria
Authors: Cózar, A.
Bergamino, N.
Mazzuoli, S.
Azza, N.
Bracchini, L.
Dattilo, A. M.
Loiselle, Steven Arthur 
Issue Date: 2007
Project: None 
Much of the lake shore in Lake Victoria is covered by extensive wetlands, often dominated by dense papyrus stands that extend out over the lake waters. These wetlands, their extension and management play a role in the physical, chemical and biological conditions of the inshore waters. Continuous transects along 180 km of shoreline together with spatial grids of sampling sites in eight bays were performed in the Ugandan inshore waters in order to analyze the relationships between the wetland characteristics and water quality. Measurements of extension of the wetland ecotones, water temperature (T), pH, Secchi disk depth (SD), dissolved oxygen (DO), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorous (TP), dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and chlorophyll-a (CHL) were made in each sampling area. Data of T, pH and DO collected during the transects showed that the water characteristics of the bays differ from the open shoreline. Moreover, the magnitude of these physical–chemical differences is strongly conditioned by the dimension of the bordering wetlands. Bays with extensive wetlands ecotones were characterized by cooler, more acidic and poorly oxygenated waters. TN : TP ratios and especially DIN : SRP ratios decreased with the wetland presence along the coastline, showing a higher probability of N limitation in the inshore waters where large wetlands are present. Results point to denitrification processes in the wetland ecotones as the cause of this trend. The distribution of CHL was found to be highest in the presence of two significant point loading sources: a river (in Katonga Bay) and a major population centre (Kampala, in Murchison Bay). The reduction of external P loading is shown as an important step in the management of the eutrophication process of Lake Victoria inshore waters.
ISSN: 0923-4861
DOI: 10.1007/s11273-007-9046-6
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