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Ecological Study of Ghodaghodi Lake

Ecological Study of Ghodaghodi Lake

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Ecological study of Ghodagho di lake

J. Diwakar

, S. Bajracharya


and U.R. Yadav

Wetlands comprise 5% of world’s total land areas of Nepal. The present study GhodaghodiLake in the Far-West Nepal Terai manifested

the physicochemical contamination in thelake. All the parameters were within the WHO guideline values except for Phosphate andDissolved

Oxygen. Water depth varies form 1-4 m. High phosphate level suggested thatthe lake is hypertrophic. Dissolved oxygen was low, ranging between 5.27-6.56

Thepresence of high density of Hemiptera (384.23 ind/m 2 ) and Ephimeripterae (273.mg/l.66 ind/ m 2 ) indicted that water was polluted .

due to high nutrient deposition both from the decayingof the abundant aquatic flora and from the surrounding area. The most important challengethat we have to face is to .

Key words: .strike a balance between sustainable human exploitation andmaintaining the ecological character of a wetland ecosystem.

phytoplankton. phosphate. nitrate W etlands are lands transitional . macroinvertebrates .Ghodaghodi Lake.

between terrestrialand aquatic systems where soil is frequently waterl ogged. the water table is usually at or near thesurface or the .

land is covered by shallow water. Entirecivilizatio n developed around wetlandareas of immense value both economically and .

But over exploitation of wetlands impairsits sustainability.in terms of quality life. Survival of human .

civilization ininextricably linked with wetlands. By sustaining theeconomic stability of hundreds of millions of .

On a shorter time scale.the society is benefited from the wetlands in adifferent manner.people. wetlandsare .

biological and geneticmaterials. sinks and transformersof a multitude of chemical. They have been .usually useful as sources.

found to cleanse pollutedwater. Furthermore. prevent floods and recharge groundwateraqui fers. wetlands provide a uniquehabitat .

James(1995) has rightly called the wetlands as nature’skidneys because of the natural .for a wide variety of flora and fauna.

functions they perform (Poddar et al 2001). the most vital resource for all life on this planetis also the .Water.

or in . in air.resource. adversely affected qualitatively and quantitatively by different of human activitieson land.

Today most of the surfaceand the ground water of the world receive millionsof liters of sewage. industrial . domestic waste.water.

andagricultural effluents containing substances varying in characteristics from simple nutrients to highly .

toxicsubstances (Trivedy and Goel 1986).Ghodagho di lake is a natural freshwater oxbow lakeon the lower slope .

It is a large and shallow 1 Central Department of Environmental Science.of Siwalik. NepalE- . Kirtipur. Tribhuvan University. P. Box: 9135.O. Kathmandu.

mail: jasdiwa@gmail.com

lake, having finger-like projections, with associatedmarsh es and meadows surrounded by tropicaldeciduou

s forest on the lower slopes of Siwalik range.There are thirteen associated lakes and ponds; somestreams have separated

lakes and ponds, and somestreams are separated by hillocks situated on theperiphery of Ghodaghodi. The forest and wetland isa wildlife corridor

between the low land and theSiwalik. The lake is fed by surface flows from thewatershed area, groundwater,

springs and smallstreams. Water depth varies from 1-4 m (DNPWC &WWF 2005). Site description: It is situated at an altitude of

205metres above the sea level. Its latitude and longitudeare 28

42’06.6”N and 80

56’44”E respectively. It issituated in

Sukhad, ward no. 5, Darakh VDC, 1 kmwest of Sukhad Chouraha, Kailali district in the Terairegion of Far-Western Development

Nepal.It lies along the Mahendra Highway (100 m north of the EastWest highway) with several ramificationscaus ed by soil .Region.

erosion and running water. The lake isowned by the State and surrounded by national forest.Ghodagho di lake is one of four Ramsar .

Ghodaghodi lake (150 ha)is one of the 14 lakes of .wetland sitesof international importance in Nepal. and is part of the Terai Arc Landscape.

Ghodaghodi Lake Complex(2563 ha) – a Ramsar site of Nepal (Kafle 2006).Many of the branches become .

Thewetland has a permanent flow. the templeof . Recently.disconnected fromthe main water body during low water seasons.

Ghodaghodi Deity has been built with theassistance from the local people and District .

Special Issue Development Committee.19 Banko Janakari. The topography of theLake is palm shaped with many .

ramifications. Among them. The temperature rise ishighest in . notches extending towards north are largerthan those on other sides.

2 . The mean maximumtemper ature of May was 37. and drops to its lowestin the month of January.the month of May.

4 0 C. Similarly.0 C while in 1995 itreached the highest to 40.54 0 . the meanminimum temperature of January was 7.

C. Premonsoon was the hottest . thelowest recorded temperature in 19 years was 7 0 C inDecember 1994.

43 0 C) while the winter season was thecoldest season (average 8.season(average 34.42 0 .

Dry andsurplus year were almost similarly distributed .12 mm. The area receives anaverage annual rainfall of 1794.C).

87. This mightbe the .(11:8)but of the total rainfall.71% of rainfall occurredin monsoon season (JuneSeptember).

reason for devastating flood in the monsoonseason and dryness in the remaining seasons.The lake supports critically endangered Red- .

endangered Tiger( Panthera tigris ).crownedRoofed Turtle ( Kachuga Kachuga ). Three-striped Roof Turtle ( .

Kachuga dhongka ). Common Otter ( Lutra lutra ). Swamp deer( . vulnerable Smooth-coated Otter ( Lutra perpiscillata ).

Lesser Adjutant Stork( Leptotilos javanic us ) and Marsh Crocodile ( .Cervus duvaucelli ).

and endangered Orchid ( Aerides odorata ). religiously impor tant and .Crocodylus palustris ).

and rare wild rice ( Hygrohiza aristata .threatened Lotus ( Nelumbo nucifera ).

2005).The lake is rich in floral diversity with excellentenviron ment conditions for both lake and terrestrial(grassla .) (DNPWC &WWF.

Spirodela and .nd and forest) vegetation. Lake vegetationinclud es the free floating species ( Azolla. Lemna.

Nitella spp and Potamogeton sp.Ricclocarpus ). the submergent species( Hydrilla verticillata. . Chara fragilis.

Nymphoi des sp.) the rooted floating species ( Leudwigia adscen dens. . Nymphaeae stellata. Potamogeton natans.

and Dictyospperum scaberrimum ). theemergent species ( Limnophila indica and .

Oryza isachne. Ipomoea . Shcoenoplectus. Phragmites phalari s.Monochoria hastat a ) and marshland species ( Rannunculus.

).The wetland and surrounding forests are renownedfor their rich mammalian fauna too. The lake is awintering area for sizeable .

and provides a staging area for many species during their migration.numbers of several speciesof waterfowl.The lake is also rich .

in herpetofauna and fishes. Thelake area is a habitat for protected wildlife on Nepalsuch as the Marsh mugger. Endangered .

Goldenmonitor lizard. A large species of . The lakearea housed Common otter and indigenous speciesof fish. Indian python and tortoise.

both migrant andresident.About 140 species of birds. representing over 16% of national .tortoise is also reportedto be present in this area.

A few birds that breedin north Asia are also reported to reside here. Butthe destruction and .avifaunahave been reported in the area.

It is thelargest interconnected natural lake system in the .deterioration of the surrounding fore st area have threatened their presence.

Budhi Nakhrodi Lake. Ojhuwa Lake. . Baishhawa Lake.Chidiya Lake.Teraiof Nepal. The other lakes connected with it areNakhrodi Lake.

Sunpokhari Lakeand Ramphal Lake. It is vulnerable and is exposed totremendous anthropogenic activities. Because of .

theNepal Government has . Likewise.thisthe Lake has always been in the top priority of IUCNNepal’s Wetlands and Heritage Unit.

Due to these reasons.also listed it as a criticalwetland habitat. GhodaghodiLake along with other lakes at its catchment area wasselected as .

the site for the study.

Materials and methods
Physicochemical and the status of aquatic flora andfauna was

determined for the assessment of water
Table 1: Test parameters, methods of analyses and instruments usedS.N. Parameters Unit Method of analyses

1 pH - pH meter2 Temperature

C Mercuric thermometer3 Conductivity

s/cm Conductivity meter4 Dissolved

Oxygen mg/L Winkler’s Iodometric method5 Total Alkalinity mg/L Titrimetric method6 Hardness mg/L EDTA titrimetric method7 Chloride

mg/L Argentometric method8 Free Carbondioxide mg/L Titrimetric method9 NitrateNitrogen mg/L Phenol Disulphonic acid method10 .

Special Issue .Phosphate mg/L Ammonium molybdate method Diwakar et al. 20 Banko Janakari.

Analyses of the physicochemicalparamet ers were done by following APHA (1998).pH and Conductivity of water samples .quality of the lake.

Otherparameter s were analyzed in the EnvironmentLa boratory of .were recordedat the site during the sampling period.

CDES. The samples were analyzedon the same day immediately and always within 6hours of collection. . Test parameters.

methods of analyses and instruments used for analyses are shownin Table 1.Sampling of benthic fauna from different sites werecarried .

grab samplerwas .out using the grab sampler of an area 0.02498m 2 . During the collection of samples.

locked initially and slowly dropped into the pondtying it with nylon thread. as the sampler touchedthe bottom it automatically .

The sampler was pulled upand sediments were transferred into a bucket. Toremove clay .unlocked itself grabbing the sediment within it.

the sediments weresieved using sieve size number 106 micron.and organic matter. Then thesieved samples were .

stored in labelled polythenesample bag along with little water and carried back to the laboratory at CDES. The sorting of .

and dropper.sampleswere carried out in white enamel trays with the helpof forceps. . brushes.

Results and discussion The temperature at various depths shows that thetemperature gradually decreases with .

Thesurface temperature at different sites ranged from15 0 C to 16 0 .depths.

Conductivity .C.5 m depth was 15 0 Cat site 2. temperature at 1. and temperature at 1 m depth was 16 0 C atsite 3.

9 to 7.ranged from 106 ¼s/cm to 111¼s/cm. pH ranged from 6. DissolvedOxyge n (DO) increased with depth. DO of surfacewater .4.

ranged from 5..43 mg/l.40 mg/l at 1 m depth and DO of site 3was 6.5m depth.27 mg/l to 5. DO of site 2 was 6.56 at 1. Total alkalinity ranged .

75 mg/l at 1. and 75 mg/l at 1m depth at site 3.from75 mg/l to 80 mg/l on the surface.5 mdepth of site 2. Table 2: PhysicoChemical .

5 m Surface 1 mTime 10:30 A.MAir Temperature ( 0 . Site 1 Site 2 Site 3ParametersSurface Surface 1.Parameters of Ghodaghodi Lake.M 10:55 A.M 11:30 A.

35 .3 6.9Dissolved Oxygen (mg/l) 5.C) 18 17 17.4 7.2 7.5Water Temperature ( 0 C) 15 15.0 7.5 15 16 15Conductivity (μS/cm) 111 111 110 106 108pH 7.

4 58 58Chloride (mg/l) 12.27 6.4Phenolphthalein Alkalinity (mg/l) 0 0 0 0 0Total Alkalinity (mg/l) 80 80 75 75 90Hardness (mg/l) 52 51.5.43 6.56 5.78 15.49 .62 13.2 51.

of individuals (X)S i t e 1 Site 2 Site .206 No.17.105 0.81 17.08 15.36 12.099 0.409 0.4Phosphate (mg/l) 0.421 0.2 8.32 14.04Free Carbondioxide (mg/l) 13.

3 S i t e 4 Name of speciesA B C A B A B C A B C Σ X 1 Σ X 2 Mean(X .

.....- ...1 )Mean(X 2 )Density(X 1 )Density(X 1 ) AverageDensityG o s s i p h o n i d a e 1 .

86 384.6 6.23L i n m e a 2 1 .17 12 17 1.- .2 761.. 8 2 2 . 4 Hemipt era 17 4 1 2 2 1 2 .1 0 1 0 4 4 ..

..1 .2 1 2 .. 4 0 . 6 .3 1 3 0 . 1 8 9 .. 4 9 Ephim . 1 3 4 . 5 7 7 .0 0 4 e 1 6 . 5 7 5 ... 0 9 D i p t r a 3 .

1 44..5 1 12 17 12 1.eripterae 12 3 7 ..1 ..6 9.2 1 23 1 5 1 5 41 5 4.71 273.66Chron omidae 5 1 7 .7 537.8 .

43 123.2 2 ..72M q u i t o l a r v a e ...23.1 1 0 . 4 Gyraulus o s 1 ...0 .

1 ..1 .. 2 - 4 2 2 8 - .4 1 . Hydracarina .1 5 1 .3 1 .. 5 7 4 . 5 8 ...2 0 .

. 5 7 D r a g n f l y .....- .2 0 . 1 4 . 5 7 Cerato ogonidae 1 .1 0 o 1 0 p - ..1 .. 1 4 .. 2 .

.2 ...1 0 0 d 0 0 n .- . 1 4 ..0. 5 7 S e g n e t i n a . 2 ..1 .1 .29N e r i t i a e .1 ..1 ...57 .

. 8 6 B i t h i n i d a e .....1 0 . 1 .. 7 1 0 .. 5 7 0 . 2 9 Corixa ...0 ....1 .3 0 ...3 .. 3 .1 .

.....1 .... 5 7 0 . 2 9 Isopteron isopteran .1 .1 0 .... 1 0 ....1 - ..

. 1 0 . 2 9 Diwakar et al. 5 7 0 .0 .

4 . 51. Hardness ranged form 51.21 Banko Janakari. Special IssueDiwakar et al.2 mg/l to 58 mg/l on thesuface.

36 mg/l to 14.08 mg/l on the surface. Freecarbondioxid e ranged from 8.32 mg/l at site 2 and 15.4 mg/l atsite . 12.mg/l at site 2 and 58 mg/l at site 3.

3. Phosphate ranged from 0. 0.421mg/l on the surface.409 mg/l to 0. Its concentration .099 mg/l at site 2 and 0.206mg/l at site 3.

/m 2 . higher density of Hemiptera (384.Regarding macroinvertebrat es.decreased with depth.23 no.

) and the least density of Isopteron isoptera ./m 2 . Corix. Bithindae andCeratopogoni dae (0.285 no.

each). These forgotten placesare some of our beautiful heritages. Nepal aboundsin wetlands and has .Wetlands are full of mystery.

Our wetland wealth has becomeeven .fish and medicines. fruits. firewood.for centuries benefited form thewealth they have provided. timbers.

uncontrolleddev elopment has been destroying .more valuable in the face of increasing deve lopment pressures. Each year.

the essential natural filters.Pollution of water is responsible for a large numberof mortalities and .scores of hectaresof wetlands.

” Man has tried tocope up with this scenario and has rapidly advancedits .morbidities in the world. Waterno longer remains a “free good.

Over the pastfew decades.efforts to counterpart this malady. natural and polluted waters have beenstudied in detail all over the world and .

A regular .considerabledata are now available on most kinds of pollutantsand their effects on ecosystems as well as organisms.

monitoring of some of them not only prevents diseases and hazards but also checks thewater resources from getting further polluted .

Temperatu re is an important limiting factor of anaquatic ecosystem and a good indicator of waterquality.(Trivedy and Goel. 1986). .

circulation. aregenerally influenced by temperature.All metabolic and physiological activities suchas respiration. . and reproduction.

During thepresent investigation the temperature of surface waterranged form 15 0 C to 16 0 .

The present investigationdid not show considerable changes in temperature.The depth-wise analysis of temperature .C.

It might be due to high density of phytoplankton at the upper .showed thatthere was a decrease in the temperature as the depthincreases.

One of the most unusual properties of water is thefact . which restricts thesolar radiation to penetrate into the deeper layers.layers.

Instead it has a maximumdensity at 4 .that its density does not monotonically increaseas the temperature drops.

Dissolved .0 C. One result of this maximum density is that above 4 0 C. the density of water decreases withtemperature.

oxygen is considered as an importantparam eter in water quality assessment. Theconcentratio n of oxygen in water depends .

mainly on two sources: diffusion from atmosphere. whichdepends on solubility of oxygen under the influenceof temperature. .

andphotosynthet ic evolution. which is a biologicalproces s and depends on the availability of light andrate of .salinity. water movement.

The surface DO of allthree sites is greater than 5 mg/l while the depthwise analysis of DO showed the .metabolic process.

Thismight be due to decrease in temperature with depththat causes decrease in the metabolic activities.increase in DO.Organi sms have specific .

requirement for DO. The present study revealed that the valuesfor . so thelower concentration may affect the survival of aquaticorganisms.

DO in sample water from surface and depth wiseanalysis were above the WHO permissible value of 5 mg/l.The hardness of water .

It is due topresence of dissolved salts of Calcium andMagnesium. .is not actually a pollutionparamet er but indicates water quality.

It is expressed as an equivalentconce ntration of calcium carbonate in mg/l. Hardwater requires a considerable .

It was . boilersand other household appliances is also due to thehard water. Scaling of hot water pipes.amount of soap toproduce lather.

high at site 3 while least at site 2.Carbon . which was more prone to pollution.this might be due to presence of agricultural land insite 3.

dissolved carbon dioxidefrom the atmosphere. and decaying organic . including alkalinity.is usually found from a number of naturalsources.

matter. this might bedue to decomposition of . The carbondioxide in water increased with depth.So. it is not often a limiting nutrient.

dead and decayed parts of plants and other organisms.The conductivity is a numerical expression of theability of an .

theirtotal concentration. valence and . mobility.aqueous solution to carry an electriccurrent and depends on the presence of ions.

It is an important criterion in determining thesuitability of water for .relativeconcentra tion and on the temperature measurement.

irrigation. Since the values of conductivity in all the sites exceeded the limiting value. .the water was suitable for irrigation.

Special Issue There is no substantial alteration in the value of pHin different sites. The pHs at all .22 Banko Janakari.

the sites were withinthe specified range of water quality as prescribed by WHO guidelines 6.In natural fresh water high .57.5.

concentration of chlorideis considered to be an indicator of environmentpoll ution due to organic wastage of animal origin.The .

maximum permissible WHO standard of chloride for drinking water is 250 mg/l. The chlorideconcentra tions at all the sites were within .

due to the .the specifiedrange of water quality.In nature.Alkalinit y is the acid neutralizing capacity of water.

silicates. bicarbonates. and phosphates together .bor ate.action of limestone ingroundwater there occurs carbonates.

withhydroxyl ions that contributes to alkalinity. The study revealed that phenolphthalein alkalinity was absentmanifestin .

P hosphorus occurs in water mostly as phosphate.g that the total alkalinity was only due tobicarbonates. Itis rarely found in high .

concentration at it is actively taken up by plants. Natural source of phosphorusare mainly due to the weathering of .

phosphorusbeari ng rocks and the decomposition of organicmatter. In most natural surface water. phosphorusrange s from 0.020 mg/l as .00550.

ortho phosphate.In the study. The deviation to some extent might be due toagricultural . all the sites have exceeded this naturallevel.

runoff from the surrounding area.Transparenc y of water denotes the ability of light topass through the water so that object situated at .

Transparency is very importantphysic al parameter.depthcan be clearly seen. which directly influence theproductivity .

status of water body. inorganic material andturbidity of . The presence of suspended dissolved organic.

water diminishes the sechhi disctransparency status and is essential a function of the reflection of light and restricts the .

penetrationof light in an aquatic environment. All lakes gradually accum ulate silt and organic matter as they undergo .

Ayoung lake is characterized by low nutrient contentand low plant productivity.anatural aging process known as eutrophication. .

Over .which facilitates increased aquatic growth.Such oligotrophic lakesgradually acquire nutrients from their drainage basins.

time.the increased biological productivity causes the waterto become murky with phytoplankton. while decaying organic .

The lake becomes eutotrophic as theaccumulating silt and organic debris cause the .matter contributes to the depletion of available DO.

more plants takeroot along the shallow edges. and the lake slowly transfor ms into a .laketo become shallower and warmer.

while sucheutrophicati on is a natural process that may takethousands of years. it is possible to accelerate .marsh or bog.

Algalblooms die and decay.greatly the rate of change through human activities. causing unsightly. odorousclumps of rotting debris .

along the shoreline and thick mats of dead organic matter in the lake. Thedecompositi on of dead algae uses up .

availableoxygen . whose . resulting in the same sort of oxygendepletion problems. Among the first casualties arecold water fish.

but the toxicity of the .temperature sensitivity forcesthem to stay in the colder bottom waters of lakewhere the least amount of oxygen.

water increases as hydrogen sulfide and metals,such as iron and manganese, which are normally tiedup as precipitates in sediments, are

dissolved andreleased into the lake.The bottom fauna plays an important role in theoverall biological productivity of

the lake. They serveas food for most of the bottom feeding fishes andare the nutritional sources. A total of 16 taxas wererecorded

from the lake. The density of Hemiptera spp .(384.33 ind/m

) was the highest and that of Corix sp. , Bithindae and

2 ind/m 2 each) was the lowest. (0.Isopteron isopteran sp.The aquatic flora collected and identified during .

.Hydrilla sp. Trapa sp..thestudy period are Lidwigia agscendens. Nymphoids sp.. . Ceratophyllum sp.

and Hygorhyza sp. Pistia sp. Protection of thesewater sources and their effective sustainableman .Potamogetom nata ns.

agement are allcritical strategies in maintaining and improving water quality. Conclusion The present study disclosed .

All the parameters werewithin the WHO guideline value except phosphateand .the physicochemical contamination in the lake.

High phosphate level indicates the lake ishypertrophic.dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen is low . Water depth varies form 1-4m.

56 mg/l. The presence of highdensity of Hemiptera (384.27-6.ranging between 5.23 ind/m 2 .

66 ind/m 2 ) indicted that wateris polluted due to high nutrient deposition .) andEphimeripter ae (273.

fromdecaying of aquatic flora which were abundant andfrom the surrounding area. Diwakar et al. 23 .

Special IssueDiwakar et al.Banko Janakari. Acknowledgem ents Acknowledgeme nts are due to Central .

Departmentof Environmental Science. Kirtipur for the laboratory faciliti es and instruments provided for this work. Wewould .

References .like to thank people around Ghodaghodi lakewho helped us during water sampling in theirlocalities.

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