The focus of the West African Journal of Applied Ecology is on ecology, agriculture and water pollution.


The Globethics library contains articles of the West African Journal of Applied Ecology as of vol. 1(2000) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Broilers’ performance in deep litter house at different floor geometries and stocking densities in humid tropics

    Lamidi, W. A.; Osunade, J. A. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2023-06-15)
    The research investigated how broilers’ performances will be affected by the conditions of their droppings in deep litter housing system in humid tropics of south west Nigeria. Two factors were considered, floor geometry and stocking density. Four different levels of floor geometry: F1 = 2800 cm2, F2 = 4200 cm2, F3 = 5600 cm2 and F4 = 7,000 cm2 and four different levels of stocking density: S1 = 4, S2 = 6, S3 = 8 and S4 = 10 birds per pen were used. There were three replicates for each treatment to make a 2× 4 × 3 randomized complete block design. The birds were fed ad libitum with all other conditions been equal for eight weeks. Conditions of litter were evaluated via pH, weights, temperatures and relative humidity in and out of the building, temperatures of the litter, temperature of the air just above the litter and the temperatures outside the house, all these were measured for each of the pen at two days intervals. Data were collected and analysed for the period of eight weeks (starting from their two weeks old), using their mean values and the correlation coefficients. Results show the pH range of 8.5 to 8.9, liveweight of the birds increased in the range of 216 to 340 g per bird per week, moisture contents of the litter were between 20.4 and 78.0% with mean temperature of the litter at 30.5 oC. The emission of ammonia was high, between 51.67 and 71.30 ppm. There was mortality rate of 10% in the S3 and S4 pens, autopsy revealed their cause of death to respiratory diseases which was because of high ammonia emission resulted from high amount of litter. The high temperature of the litter produced increased the level of ammonia and thus produced discomfort in the birds. Birds were uncomfortable in their pens as more litter were produced, thereby their performances were reduced which was evident in their low live weights and high mortality rate. 
  • Synergistic effects of Albizzia lebbek, Moringa oleifera and Millettia thonningii leaves on weight gain and predicted enteric methane emission in sheep

    Sarkwa, F.O.; Madibela, O. R.; Adogla-Bessa, T.; Mphinyane, W. N.; Perkins, J. S.; Idan, F.; Timpong-Jones, E. C. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2023-06-07)
    The digestive tract of ruminants though unique in the utilisation of low quality feed materials also emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential of 25 times that of carbon-dioxide. Climate smart livestock production necessitated the use of browse leaves with the potential to inhibit methanogens and protozoa activity in the rumen and reduce methane emission. Thus, sixteen forest type ram lambs (13.94 ±1.02 ) were fed Albizzia lebbek (AL)+Moringa oleifera (MO)+Millettia thonningii (MT), AL+MO, AL+MT and MO+MT for twelve weeks. Data collected were feed intake, digestible energy, weight gain, energy loss, nitrogen loss and methane emission by sheep. Rumen methane production (MJ/d) was estimated using a model equation: Methane = 8.25 + 0.07 x Metabolisable Energy Intake. Sheep fed AL+MO had the highest (p<0.0001) average daily gain whilst those fed AL+MO+MT recorded the lowest (p<0.0001). Sheep fed AL+MO+MT emitted the lowest (p<0.0001) methane and those fed AL+MO emitted the highest (p<0.0001) methane. The dry matter intake, digestible energy, energy intake, faecal energy losses, average daily gain, feed conversion efficiency, faecal nitrogen losses, urinal nitrogen losses and methane production were in the range of 588.9-651.5g/d, 15.1-16.7 MJ/kg DM, 17.3-18 MJ/kg DM, 1.26-2.56 MJ/kg DM, 69.94-83.33 g/d, 8.66-11.10 g/d, 60.43-88.01g/animal/d, 11.22- 6.99 g/animal/d and 3-5.34 MJ/d respectively. This study demonstrates the synergic action of browse leaves as a climate smart approach in reducing methane production and improving the productivity of sheep. Furthermore, this feeding strategy promotes uniform utilization of browse species leading to the sustainable use of preferred browse species as no one browse species will be heavily utilised. 
  • Ecological Risk and Adsorption of Toxic Metals from Gbalahi Landfill Leachate using Chicken Eggshells as a Low Cost Adsorbent

    Kan-Uge, J.; Alhassan, E. H; Duwiejuah, A. B.; Iddrisu, F. T.; Gameli, B. H. R. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2023-06-07)
    Pollution is a world-wide talked about subject but little has been achieved in the 21st century in terms of improvement of aquatic environment, water quality and reducing human health risks. One of the most effective methods of removing toxic metals is adsorption. The study was to assess the ecological risk and efficacy of chicken eggshell as a low cost adsorbent for the removal of toxic metals from Gbalahi landfill leachate. Chicken eggshells (1 g, 2 g, 4 g, 6 g and 8 g) were added to 100 mg L-1 each of the spiked ternary leachate (1 mg L-1, 5 mg L-1, 10 mg L-1, 25 mg L-1 and 50 mg L-1) and agitated for 60 minutes at a constant temperature (25 °C). The leachates, and elutes were obtained and transported to the Ecological Laboratory of University of Ghana for initial analysis. The study revealed that 0.2060 mg L-1 for cadmium (Cd), 0.0060 mg L-1 for chromium (Cr), 0.0010 mg L-1 for lead (Pb), 0.0012 mg L-1 for mercury (Hg), 0.0024 mg L-1 for arsenic (As) and 0.3410 mg L-1 for nickel (Ni) were present in the leachate. The removal efficiencies for Cd, Hg, and Pb ranged from 98.67% to 99.99%, 99.89% to 99.99%, and 99.98% to 99.99%, respectively. Langmuir model (0.46 ≤ R2 ≤  0.84) showed a better fit for the adsorption of the toxic metals by chicken eggshells than Freundlich model (0.26 ≤ R2 ≤  0.40). Cadmium and nickel proved to be the metals with the highest level of toxicity. Chicken eggshells have a high adsorption efficiency in the landfill leachate. The pH of the leachates were favourable for the adsorption. The toxic metals in the leachate were within the low contamination and low-risk category indicating low ecological risks. Low-cost chicken eggshells can be used as an economically efficient material for the removal of cadmium, mercury and lead from landfill leachate. More adsorptive studies should be carried out using chicken eggshells as an adsorbent to remediate other wastewater in order to gain a broad knowledge on the adsorbent's applicability. 
  • Effect of Chromolaena odorata (L.) R.M. King & H. Rob. Leaf Extract on Oviposition in Rhipicephalus microplus Canestrini, 1888

    Aboagye, I. F.; Taylor, E. J.; Aryee, B. N. A.; Koffi, M-C. A. A.; Baffoe-Ansah, J.; Osei-Safo, D. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2023-06-07)
    Rhipicephalus microplus infestation in livestock is associated with animal health and economic losses. There are also environmental safety concerns regarding Rhipicephalus microplus control using synthethic acaricides, calling for affordable and safer interventions for their control. This study assessed the effect of dichloromethane extract of Chromolaena odorata leaf on oviposition in Rhipicephalus microplus. Using topical application procedures, Chromolaena odorata leaf extract treatment of Rhipicephalus microplus was observed to significantly affect the number of eggs laid, H (5) = 36.25, p < 0.001. The significant differences in eggs laid were observed between the control group and: 3.125 mg/ml (p = 0.002), 12.5 mg/ml (p = 0.001), 25 mg/ml (p < 0.001), 50 mg/ml (p < 0.001) treated groups of tick, but not control and 6.25 mg/ml (p = 0.077) treated groups of tick. A dichloromethane extract of Chromolaena odorata leaf demonstrates its potential use for effective control of Rhipicephalus microplus and may be considered for development of acaricidal compounds. 
  • Preliminary Study on Gastrointestinal Helminths in Warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus) at the Mole National Park, Ghana

    Owusu, P. J.; Oduro, D.; Duah-Quashie, N. O.; Owusu, E. H.; Futagbi, G. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2023-06-07)
    Most emerging human infectious diseases originated from wildlife. To find out if warthogs in Mole National Park harbour zoonotic parasites, a total of 39 warthog faecal droppings were sampled and examined. Zinc Sulphate Floatation technique was used in processing the samples for microscopic examination and quantification of parasite eggs. Out of the 39 warthog droppings, 95% were infected with one or more parasite species. At least seven genera of helminths were identified. Nearly 72% of the warthog droppings harboured Strongyloides sp and trichostrongyle-type. Enterobius sp. was found in 64.1% of the droppings. Other parasitic helminths identified such as Ascaris sp., Taenia sp., Monieza sp., and S. haematobium occurred in less than 50% of the animals.  Z-tests showed significant variations in prevalence among the various parasites (p<0.05). Mostly, the level of infection ranged from moderate (100<EPG<500) to high (EPG ≥ 500) loads of helminth eggs. Forty-two percent of the warthogs had three or more parasites. This study reveals some helminths that are harboured by the warthogs in the Mole National Park. The presence of zoonotic parasites such as Ascaris sp. and Taenia sp. in the warthogs is an indication of potential for transmission of zoonoses in the community.
  • The prospect of biodiversity conservation in cocoa agroforestry landscape, Ghana

    Ansah, M. O.; Pabi, O.; Ayivor, J. S. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2023-06-07)
    The adoption of cocoa agroforests in Ghana and other West African countries for biodiversity conservation has not been conclusive. Though constituting major landscapes, cocoa agroforests are not fully adopted for biodiversity conservation, despite the declining cover of protected forest areas that are considered as biodiversity hotspots. We assessed the biodiversity conservation potential of cocoa agroforest farms relative to a protected forest vegetation. Six plots were delineated in cocoa agroforest farms, and a plot in a protected forest. Trees with a diameter of, at least, 5 cm at breast height (1.3m) were identified and counted in the plots. Multiple quantitative general diversity measurements of species richness, Shannon index, Simpson index and Sorensen’s plot similarity were estimated and compared among the plots. Though the protected forest recorded the highest (2.74) for the Shannon index, some cocoa farms recorded higher measurements as well (2.46 and 2.31). Three cocoa plots recorded higher values for Simpson index (0.92, 0.89 and 0.83) than the protected area (0.73). Dominance was higher in the protected forest (0.127) than one cocoa plot (0.098). The Sorensens’s index showed a wide variation in similarity among the cocoa farms, indicating the possibility of management types. The finding indicates a potential for adopting cocoa agroforestry for biodiversity conservation, yet, given the variations in diversity measures among the farms, further studies to determine the management types and the mix of tree species diversity and abundance that yields the optimum sustainability benefits must be conducted. 
  • A Safe Haven or a Temporary Alternative Host? - The Displaced Mango Fruit Fly, Ceratitis cosyra in the African Peach Plant

    Billah, M. K.; Oyinkah, G. M.; Badii, B. K.; Cobblah, M. A. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2023-06-07)
    One of the difficulties in controlling fruit flies in cultivated crops is the use of alternative host plants as refugia when the preferred hosts are not in season. This  study was aimed at collecting fruits and vegetables in localities across the five northern regions of Ghana (Northern, North-East, Savannah, Upper-East, and Upper-West regions) to catalogue the diversity of fruit flies and their host plants. A total of 1,722 fruits from all localities across the five regions were incubated, with 29.13% turning out to be fly-positive, yielding 1,141 individuals in four genera (Bactrocera, Ceratitis, Dacus, and Zeugodacus) and four species (Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), Ceratitis cosyra (Walker), Dacus bivittatus (Bigot), and Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillet)). The African Peach plant, Nauclea latifolia, showed the highest incidence level of infestation, with the Mango fruit fly, Ceratitis cosyra as the dominant species, accounting for 97.19% (974) of the flies. The Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis and the Melon fly, Zeugodacus curcurbitae accounted for 1.23% (14 each), and Dacus bivittatus 0.35% (4). With evidence of displacement of C. cosyra from mango by the invasive Bactrocera dorsalis in most African countries, our results point to a plant that has hitherto not been known to be associated with fruit flies in Ghana for the displaced Mango fruit fly. Since information of previous fruit fly records is scanty, especially in the northern parts of the country, it is not known whether the African Peach has always been a host plant to C. cosyra, and served as a suitable alternative host during the long dry season, or is pointing to the new home after its displacement by Bactrocera dorsalis. There is therefore the need for an extended all-year-round collection to ascertain the host status and pattern of utilization of the African peach, as well as confirm the suspected host shift and displacement status of C. cosyra. 
  • Off-Season Heavy Application of Poultry Manure to Droughty-Acid Soils under Heavily Protective Organic Mulch Later Burnt to Ash Improves Their Productivity

    Onah, C.J.; Nnadi, A.L.; Eyibio, N.U.; Obi, J.O.; Orah, A.I.; Amuji, C.F.; Obalum, S.E. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2023-06-07)
    The effects of poultry-droppings manure at high rates (up to and > 50 t/ha), termed heavy application, on soil productivity indices of sandy-loam Ultisols were evaluated on okra, under conditions of heavily protecting the amended soil with dry-grass mulch and subsequent burning of same. The plots, prepared in dry season, were saturated weekly by manual irrigation. Two months after manuring, the protective surface mulch was completely burnt to ash. Weekly irrigation continued till the rains stabilized in the next rainy season, 7 months later, okra was sown. The soil was sampled before sowing and after harvest of okra, in- between which gravimetric water content was determined twice some 5-9 h after rain events ≥ 30 mm. Just before cropping, soil organic matter steadily increased while soil bulk density decreased with increasing manure rate. Total porosity, aggregate stability indices and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the soil all showed higher values in 75 t/ha than the rest at both sampling periods. Macro- and microporosity tended to decrease and increase, respectively with manure rate. Soil water content was not affected during okra growth, but treatment enhanced post-cropping microporosity. Treatment optimally enhanced pre-cropping soil pH and available phosphorus including okra vegetative growth at 50 t/ha, and pre-cropping total nitrogen and cation xchange properties including okra fruiting at 25 t/ha. Adding poultry manure at ≥ 25 t/ha to droughty-acid tropical soils with a heap of protective organic mulch to be ashed later can improve their productivity in the following rainy season, most likely due to enhanced pre-cropping soil pH and phosphorus fertility and postcropping water availability relative to no-manure soil. 
  • Impact of indigenous natural resources regulatory systems of fishing on the fisheries of a small coastal lagoon in Ghana

    Sawyerr, L.M.; Quartey, J.K.; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-12-22)
    Many African cultures have indigenous practices that regulate the exploitation of natural resources. One such practice in Ghana is the close and open seasons for the utilisation of water bodies and the fisheries resources they provide. Compliance with the close seasons, however, has declined over the years, and this has the potential to affect fish stocks. We evaluated the impact of indigenous systems that seek to regulate natural resources exploitation on the fisheries of a small coastal lagoon, Sakumo, in Ghana. We measured fishing intensity, catch per unit effort, length-weight relationship and condition factor (K) of fish species harvested in both the open and close seasons. The predominant fish species recorded in fishermen’s catches were tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus and Sarotherodon melanotheron, which accounted for 47.62% and 35.60% by weight respectively of fish samples collected. Fishing activities occurred throughout the period of study irrespective of the season. The indigenous regulatory systems were neither respected, nor enforced by the traditional authorities, hence the lagoon fisheries continue to be overexploited. In the long run, this could lead to the collapse of the lagoon fisheries, with serious adverse impact on the livelihoods of the coastal communities who depend on this resource.
  • Seasonal influence on the nutrient removal efficiency of a SPRAS wastewater treatment plant in the Free-State Province, South Africa

    Mofokeng, S.; Oberholster, P.; Hill, L. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-12-22)
    In Africa, untreated sewage discharge is one major source of water pollution that contributes to high oxygen demand and nutrient loading on the receiving water bodies, which threatens aquatic ecosystem and human health. Sludge Process Reduced Activated Sludge (SPRAS) plant could potentially address this challenge as a technology that has been found effective in the removal of nutrients from wastewater. The objective of the current study was to investigate the nutrient removal and treatment efficiency of a SPRAS treatment plant as a case study during the cold and warm seasons in the Free State Province, South Africa. The treatment effectiveness of the SPRAS plant was assessed by comparing the final effluent data to the South African General Authorization (SAGA) guidelines for discharging wastewater into water resources. Treatment efficiency was determined by comparing raw influent to the final effluent data. Ammonia was efficiently removed from wastewater in the colder seasons compared to the warmer seasons, at 97-99% and 87-89% removal efficiency range, respectively. Suspended solids, Carbon Oxygen Demand (COD), and ortho-phosphates were efficiently removed from wastewater during both warm and cold seasons, with efficiency ranges of 97-98%, 87-89%, and 67-98% respectively. E. coli in the final effluent was reduced to concentrations below the set SAGA limit during both warm and cold seasons. However, SPRAS was ineffective in nitrates removal during both seasons, where the final effluent concentration failed to meet the set SAGA limits. The observed nitrates removal ineffectiveness may be attributed to operating temperatures (minimum average range of 10.5 -13.5 °C) that were not optimal for the activity of the microbial communities driving the treatment process. It was evident from the analysed data that climatic conditions may influence the treatment efficiency of SPRAS technology, with treatment efficiency reduced when air temperatures were below optimal temperatures for the growth of the microbial communities. 
  • Effects of Foreign Direct Investment on Environmental Quality in West Africa

    Bediako, F. E.; Twerefou, D. K.; Codjoe, E. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-12-22)
    Foreign direct investment (FDI) has played a key role in the growth and development of developing economies. However, one prominent opposing question about foreign direct investment is whether it is a blessing or a curse to the natural environment of the host country. Despite the existing theoretical ambiguity on FDI-environmental quality nexus in West Africa, few studies conducted in the area have not considered all the sixteen West African countries. Again, these studies did not extend the argument to cover the pollution haven hypothesis (PHH) to determine whether emission in the sub-region is attributed to domestic industries or pollution-induced multinational companies. This is the knowledge gap that this research seeks to address. Specifically, this research examines the effect of foreign direct investment (FDI) on environmental quality in West Africa and also tests empirically the existence of the pollution haven hypothesis. Using carbon dioxide emission as a proxy for environmental quality, this study employs the random/fixed effects model on ten-year panel data for all the sixteen countries inWest Africa. Parallel to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13, examination of these issues is of great importance as it will help save the environment from the concomitant effects of climate variations and also enlighten policymakers with concrete knowledge as to whether domestic industries or influx of multinational companies is the source of emissions level in West Africa.
  • Small mammal community composition and species diversity in the Shai Hills Resource reserve, Ghana

    Ofori, B. Y.; Addom, H. S.; Attuquayefio, D. K. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-12-22)
    Biodiversity monitoring and assessment are essential for establishing population trends and status, and the causes of declines in abundance and occupancy within protected areas. However, biodiversity monitoring and assessment are rarely done in developing countries because of funding and other logistic constraints. This study assessed the small mammal (rodents and shrews ≤ 200 g) species composition and diversity in the Shai Hills Resource reserve with the aim of establishing baseline data for regular monitoring. The small mammals were live-trapped using Sherman and Pitfall traps. A trapping effort of 1,080 Sherman trap-nights and 360 Pitfall trap-nights yielded 36 individuals belonging to two orders (Rodentia and Eulipotyphla) and nine species. Five new species, including two shrews Crocidura olivieri and C. crossei, and three rodents Mus muscules, Mastomys natalensis and Arvicanthis rufinus were added to the known small mammal species in the reserve. Uranomys ruddi was the most abundant species. All the species that were captured are listed as ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and are under no form of protection nationally. The results of this study provide crucial baseline data to the park managers to monitor the population dynamics and changes in the community composition of small mammal in the SHRR and evaluate the impact of management actions on the small mammal biodiversity in the reserve. This can improve their understanding of conservation needs and guide the development of effective habitat management strategy.
  • Households’ awareness and practices on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in an Arid Region of Northwestern Nigeria-Sokoto State

    Mustapha, M.; Okareh, O. T.; Sridhar, M. K. C.; Aliyu, M. M. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-12-22)
    Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) accessibility is more critical in arid regions where rainfall is low and other water resources are scanty. This study assesses Households’ awareness and practices regarding WASH in Sokoto State, an arid region in Northwestern Nigeria. A total of 854 questionnaires were administered to respondents in addition to physical observations conducted. From the study, water scarcity was a major problem confronting the State, particularly in the dry season. The major water sources utilized were the unprotected hand dug wells (79.3%). The common water treatment methods used were filtration through cloth (72.1%). Water storage and collection attitudes and practices were rated as good as 69.0% of the respondents stored water in covered clay pots and 82.1% use cups with handle to draw water. Lack of funds led to poor excreta disposal systems and high open field defecation practices (78.9%). On the aspects of hygiene, children’s faeces were mostly disposed into bush (82.5%) and 55.6% did not use soap to wash hands after defecation. The major diseases reported in the communities included malaria, diarrhea and dysentery, therefore, there is a need for the provision of WASH facilities to combat these diseases. WASH education and financial empowerment are necessary towards protecting public health in the study area. 
  • Physicochemical Characterisation and Water Quality Status of the Lower Orashi River, Niger Delta, Nigeria

    Fubara, R. I.; Wokeh, O. K.; Okey-Wokeh, C. G. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-12-22)
    A study on levels of physicochemical characterisation and water quality status of the Orashi river was conducted to assess the magnitude of deterioration in the water quality. To achieve this, eight essential physicochemical parameters namely dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, electrical conductivity (EC), temperature, turbidity and salinity, were examined on-site all through the bi-weekly sampling for 3 months (Oct-Dec 2021), with the aid of a handheld digital multi-meter checker (Extech model Do 700). The biochemical oxygen demand was later determined in the laboratory using standard analytical method. Data obtained from this study were statistically analysed using a one-way analysis of variance. The result of the study revealed mean dissolved oxygen (DO) showed spatial and monthly variation (p˂0.05), electrical conductivity (EC) was found to exhibit monthly variation and total dissolved solids (TDS) followed the same trend as EC. All the parameters were within the permissible limit for both national and international regulatory agencies except for turbidity. Therefore, this river water is good for domestic and agricultural use, although it requires close monitoring to avoid activities that will contaminate the water quality in future.
  • Assessing the Sustainability of Climate Change Response Measures to Farming Practices in an agricultural enclave in the Eastern Region of Ghana

    Botchie, R.; Nukpezah, D.; Fosu-Mensah, B. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-12-22)
    Given the fundamental role of agriculture in human welfare, concern has been expressed regarding the potential net effects of climate change on agricultural productivity. Response strategies to climate change impact in the Agricultural sector is therefore an imperative. However, not all response activities to climate change impact can be considered good enough to be sustainable. Thus the study investigated the response strategies of farmers in Oboadaka, a farming community in eastern region of Ghana as to whether they qualified as sustainable impact response measures or otherwise. The framework for classifying the impact response measures was summarized as follows: reacting to experienced and/ or current impacts alone qualified as coping whereas such measures that in addition to reacting to current impacts anticipated future impacts and allowed a plan to adaptively manage the response measures qualified as sustainable adaptation. The method employed to achieve the results was largely qualitative case study method. The findings established the fact that farmers perceived the climate to have changed; farmers viewed climate variability and climate change to mean the same thing- a change in weather patterns whether long or shortterm. It emerged that the responses to the impact of climate change were part of reactionary responses or strategies which were short term. Analyzing the strategies, it was concluded that, the climate change impact response practices of farmers in the study area qualified as coping and not sustainable adaptationmeasures needed to build resilience to future climate change. 
  • Efficacy of promising insecticides and lures for the management of insect pests of quarantine importance on ridged gourd (Luffa acutangula L.)

    Amouzou, K.; Fening, K.O.; Hevi, W.; Forchibe, E. E.; Billah, M.K. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-08-12)
    Insecticides play an important role in the management of insect pests on ridged gourd (Luffa acutangula L.) or turia. The sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), thrips, Thrips spp. Karny (Thysanoptera:Thripidae), and fruit flies, Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett) and Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera:Tephritidae) are the commonly found insect pests on turia in Ghana. These insect pests have been intercepted in some vegetables including turia exported into the European Union. The current study evaluated the efficacy of promising insecticides and lures for the management of these pests of quarantine importance on turia. The study was undertaken at a vegetable production site at Torgorme in the Volta region of Ghana during the dry and rainy seasons of 2017 and 2018, respectively. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with five treatments replicated four times. The treatments included use of Eradicoat T GH® (Maltodextrin 282g/L) at 150 ml per 15L of water, Ecopel® (Bacillus thuringiensis 32000 IU/mg at 25g/15L of water, Aqueous Neem Kernel Extract (ANKE) (Azadirachtin) at 50g/L of water, and Viper® (Acetamiprid 16g/l + Indoxacarb 30g/l ) at 40ml /15L of water, and untreated control plot. Fruit fly traps with different pheromones or lures (i.e., Methyl Eugenol, Cuelure, Terpinyl Acetate and Trimedlure) were set at the four corners of the field to monitor the different species of fruit flies. Yellow sticky traps were also set within treatment plots to monitor pest populations. Whitefly population was significantly different among the treatments for both cropping seasons, while fruit fly population was not significant for both seasons. There was a significant difference in thrips population for the rainy season, however, it was not significant in the dry season. In a descending order, Acetamiprid 16g/l + Indoxacarb 30g/l and Azadirachtin were the most effective insecticides in controlling these pests on turia. There is, therefore, the need to alternate these two insecticides for effective management of pests on turia. 
  • Phenotypic and Phylogenetic Characterization of Micro-symbionts Nodulating Winged Bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus L. DC.) Landraces

    Oloyede, A . R.; Oyelakin, O. O.; Ogunesan, S. O. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-06-23)
    Winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus L.) is a potential source of protein for the tropics and almost equivalent to protein content of soybean. However, information on winged bean-bacteria association is still limited. This study was conducted to assess phenotypic and genetic characterization of micro-symbionts that could effectively nodulate winged beans. The greenhouse experiment was performed in a completely randomized design with five accessions of winged bean and five replicates. The micro-symbionts were isolated from the root nodules and subjected to nodulation test on host plants. The effective nodulating isolates were characterized by phenotypic characteristics and 16S rRNA gene sequencing technique. The strains were also assayed for plant growth promotion traits. Thirty micro-symbionts were isolated from root nodules of winged bean plants but only twelve (40.0%) effectively nodulated their host plants. All the effective microsymbionts were Gram negative, rod-shaped bacteria. Six of the effective rhizobia isolates were slow growers while others were fast growers. The results further showed that four of the isolates could produce ammonia and indole acetic acid, as well as solubilizing phosphate. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the microsymbionts were similar to strains of Rhizobium, Bradyrhizobium and Mesorhizobium. The study therefore showed the potential of these micro-symbiont strains in nodulating winged bean.
  • Spatial and Seasonal Concentration of Glyphosate, Nitrate, and Phosphate in Kuti Stream, Yaba, Abaji Area Council, FCT Abuja, Nigeria

    Echude, D.; Ahmad, S. I.; Egbeja, T. I.; Egwu, L. S.; Umoru, C. I.; Abubakar, I. A.; Adakole, J. A.; Mbah, C. E. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-06-23)
    This study determines the concentration of glyphosate (C3H8NO5P), nitrate (NO3-), and phosphate (PO43-) in Kuti stream, Abaji area council, Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Nigeria, for twelve months (January-December, 2019) at four sampling stations that were 500 m apart. Samples were collected monthly during the morning hours (06.00-10.00 h) from a depth of 5–10 cm below the water surface using high-density polyethylene bottles and analyzed by adopting standard protocols. Samples analyzed for C3H8NO5P concentration were pooled quarterly with the highest (0.27±0.01 mg/l) concentration observed in July-September at station 2, lowest (0.02±0.01mg/l) in January-March at station 4. Seasonal concentration differed significantly (P ≤ 0.05), rainy season had 0.12mg/l, dry season had 0.06 mg/l. NO3 - and PO43- had their highest concentration (1.82±0.01mg/l; 0.87±0.01mg/l) in June at station 2 and 1, lowest (0.23±0.06mg/l; 0.21±0.05mg/l) in January and December at station 4 and 3. Rainy season had high concentration (1.82±0.01mg/l; 0.87±0.01 mg/l) of NO3- and PO43- compared to dry season (0.23±0.01 mg/l; 0.21±0.01mg/l). Pairwise correlation coefficients show a strong positive relationship (r=0.53/1.00) between PO43- and C3H8NO5P. The mean concentration of C3H8NO5P, NO3- and PO43- (0.09±0.01 mg/l; 0.59±0.04 mg/l; 0.37±0.02 mg/l) were below the maximum contamination limit (MCL) of 0.7 mg/l, 50 mg/l and 5.0 mg/l by USEPA, WHO and NERN. The high concentrations observed in the rainy season and station 2 were linked to runoff and riparian agriculture,though their mean concentrations were low if not monitored, will increase and become harmful to aquatic and human lives, therefore, conservation farming was suggested.
  • Mode of Biochar Application to Vertisols Influences Water Balance Components and Water Use Efficiency of Maize (Zea mays L.)

    Nyasapoh, J. B. A.; Adiku, S. G. K.; MacCarthy, D. S.; Yanore, S. A. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-06-23)
    Vertisols belong to a group of soils with high fertility but poor physical properties of swelling when wet and shrinking and cracking when dry. The swelling inhibits infiltration, resulting in flooding, limiting the production of upland crops. Biochar (<BC) application has been shown to reduce the shrink-swell behaviour of Vertisols. However, the mode of biochar application to these soils may affect the effectiveness of the amendment. This study investigated the water relations and maize (Zea mays L.) growth under two BC application modes: (i) biochar applied into cracks that develop with drying, C, and (ii) biochar that was surface broadcast and incorporated into the topsoil, FM. A control treatment did not receive any BC amendment. Maize was grown on the BC-amended Vertisols using the two modes of application in a greenhouse under two seasonal water regimes of 610 and 450 mm. The results showed that the proportion of total water application lost to runoff was 37%, 49% and 53% for C, FM and control treatments, respectively. Both maize yield and Water Use Efficiency (WUE), for the C treatments were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those for FM treatments. The maize yield under the C treatments was 19% over the control. Similarly, the WUE for the C treatments was 28% above the control treatment. It is concluded that the application of biochar into cracks is a more effective way of improving the water relations and upland crop productivity and WUE in Vertisols than the traditional surface incorporation.
  • Water Quality Status Within The Anchorage Space of Tema Harbour, Ghana

    Klubi, E.; Addo, S.; Appeaning-Addo, K.; Agyekum, K. A. (Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana, 2022-06-23)
    Marine pollution is attributable to anthropogenic introductions of contaminants above their natural background levels and being dispersed by ocean forcing. Assemblages of vessels within offshore platforms and seaport terminals could also be potential sources for marine water contamination. As such, nearshore perimeters of the Tema Port were assessed to review the vessel register and the seawater quality through Automatic Identification System (AIS), in-situ and laboratory analysis. The results of analysed satellite data suggested ~1,600 commercial vessels of over 50 flag states including Ghana were present in the West Africa territorial waters between 2016 and 2020. Bacterial load shows the following order: total heterotrophic bacterial [THB] (364-468 cfu/mL) > total coliform [TC] (26-73 cfu/100 mL) > faecal coliform [FC] (1-13 cfu/100 mL). Phytoplankton species abundances were in order Ceratium spp. (31.8%) >Protoperidinium spp. (30.1%) > Dinophysis spp. (9.3%) > Coscinodiscus sp. (7.3%) > Lingulodinium polyedra (6.9%) = Nitzschia sp. (6.9%). Water temperature ranged between 23.9 and 27.5 oC (surface to 25.4 m depth), salinity 36.03 ± 0.51‰, dissolved oxygen 6.54 ± 0.94 mg/L and pH 8.18 ± 0. 06. Phosphate, ammonia, Cd, As, and Pb levels were low (0.01 to 0.153 mg/L). Nitrate, silicate and Mg were relatively high (0.7 - 2.18 mg/L). Pearson correlation coefficient displayed 0.05 and 0.01 significant levels between total dissolved solids (TDS) and electrical conductivity and salinity, and dissolved oxygen and temperature and arsenic levels. Normalization physicochemical data suggested thermal stratification at 15 m depth. Nutrient and biological results indicated normal water quality conditions, however, relatively high levels of phytoplankton including harmful and toxic species suggested excess nutrient contamination in the study area. Further assessment is recommended to ascertain the link between phytoplankton and nutrient load at the anchorage space.

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