Effects of a hydropower plant on Coleopteran diversity and abundance in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:I. J. E. Zilihona, Niemela, J., Nummelin, M.
Journal:Biodiversity and Conservation
Date Published:Jul
Accession Number:ISI:000220411800003
Keywords:Dung beetles

The effects of river flow diversion on biodiversity were assessed using Coleoptera as an indicator group in three habitats of the Kihansi Gorge (Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania), before and after commissioning of a hydropower plant. Data collected using sweep netting and pitfall traps showed that the effect of diversion of the river flow was site-specific, affecting particularly the spray habitat. Rarefaction analysis of both sweep netting and pitfall samples indicated that the expected richness of Coleoptera declined significantly in all habitats after commissioning of the power plant. Sweep netting and pitfall samples showed that the highest Shannon-Wiener diversity index value before the diversion of the river flow was in the spray zone, but the index value decreased after diversion. Changes in the other two habitats were less prominent. Analysis of variance using diversity index values from five pitfall samples in each habitat type before and after commissioning indicated that there were no statistically significant differences in the diversity index between the two sampling periods or among the three habitat types. Renkonen's similarity index between habitats showed that pitfall samples had higher similarity (greater than or equal to87%) than did samples from sweep netting (less than or equal to69%). It is suggested that for mitigation purposes, artificial spray systems, which have been installed in other wetlands of the Kihansi Gorge, also be installed to cover the whole Lower Wetland in which this study was undertaken. In order to maintain overall biodiversity in the Kihansi Gorge, it is suggested that the ecosystem conservation approach be prioritised.

URL:<Go to ISI>://000220411800003
Alternate Journal:Biodivers. Conserv.
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