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Assessment of some key indicators of the ecological status of an African freshwater lagoon (Lagoon Aghien, Ivory Coast)

Abstract : The supply of drinking water is a vital challenge for the people who live on the African continent, as this continent is experiencing strong demographic growth and therefore increasing water demands. To meet these needs, surface water resources are becoming increasingly mobilized because underground resources are not always available or have already been overexploited. This situation is the case in the region of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, where the drinking water deficit is a growing problem and it is therefore necessary to mobilize new water resources to ensure the supply of drinking water. Among the potential resources, local managers have identified a freshwater lagoon, Lagoon Aghien, That is in close proximity to the city of Abidjan. With the aim of enhancing knowledge on the ecological functioning of the lagoon and contributing to the assessment of its ability to provide drinking water, several physical and chemical parameters of the water and the phytoplankton community of the lagoon were monitored for 17 months (December 2016-April 2018) at six sampling stations. Our findings show that the lagoon is eutrophic, as evidenced by the high concentrations of total phosphorus (>140 μg L-1), nitrogen (1.36 mg L-1) and average chlorophyll-a (26 to 167 μg L-1) concentrations. The phytoplankton community in the lagoon is dominated by genera typical of eutrophic environments including mixotrophic genera such as Peridinium and by cyanobacteria such as Cylindrospermopsis/Raphidiopsis, Microcystis and Dolichospermum that can potentially produce cyanotoxins. The two rainfall peaks that occur in June and October appeared to be major events in terms of nutrient flows entering the lagoon, and the dynamics of these flows are complex. Significant differences were also found in the nutrient concentrations and to a lesser extent in the phytoplankton communities among the different stations, especially during the rainfall peaks. Overall, these results reveal that the quality of the lagoon's water is already severely degraded, and this degradation could increase in future years due to increasing urbanization in the watershed. These results therefore raise questions about the potential use of the lagoon as a source of drinking water if measures are not taken very quickly to protect this lagoon from increasing eutrophication and other pollution sources.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 7, 2021 - 2:35:55 PM
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Mathias Koffi Ahoutou, Rosine Yao Djeha, Eric Kouamé Yao, Catherine Quiblier, Julie Niamen-Ebrottié, et al.. Assessment of some key indicators of the ecological status of an African freshwater lagoon (Lagoon Aghien, Ivory Coast). PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2021, 16 (5), pp.e0251065. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0251065⟩. ⟨hal-03220796⟩

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