John Gichimu Mbaka
Biomonitoring refers to the use of living organisms to evaluate the ecological condition of the environment. Although aquatic biomonitoring using invertebrates has a long historical background in developed countries, its application in assessment of aquatic ecosystems in developing countries is relatively limited. The objective of this paper is to review the status, challenges and future prospects for invertebrate-based biomonitoring in Kenya. In Kenya, stream invertebrates are increasingly being applied in biomonitoring of running water ecosystems. However, there are challenges that hinder the biomonitoring process such as a lack of published identification keys, scarcity of information on the ecology and distribution of Kenyan stream invertebrates and a lack of a nation-wide biomonitoring programme. Potential future directions with regard to biomonitoring of Kenyan streams using invertebrates include publication of identification keys, establishment of a nation-wide biomonitoring programme using stream invertebrates as bioindicators, inclusion of stream biomonitoring in legislations and policies dealing with environmental monitoring and management, and allocation of more funds to research projects dealing with stream biomonitoring. In conclusion, invertebrate-based biomonitoring is important in evaluation of stream ecological conditions in Kenya. However, the challenges that hinder its application need to be addressed for its full potential to be realized.
Pages: 171-181 | 125 Views 38 Downloads