Zooplankton Communities of Lake Victoria and its Effects on the Fishery

K. Nyakeya, J. E. Chemoiwo, J. M. Nyamora, E. Kerich, Z. Gichana


This study is a review on the zooplankton of Lake Victoria and its effects on the fishery. A general introduction on zooplankton is given followed by an overview of Lake Victoria, and change in zooplankton ecology and their effects on the fishery. Three main groups of zooplankton communities do occur in the lake: cyclopoids, cladocerans and rotifers. There has been a shift with cyclopoids dominating from cladocerans. Although the the Nile perch has been blamed for the decline of the cladocerans due to upsurge of dagaa that saw predation of the cladocerans, this may not be substantiated because such changes were witnessed as earlier as 1950s when L. niloticus had not been introduced. Therefore, other reasons such as eutrophication, predation and/or cannibalism, poor/variability in sampling protocols and pollution may have been responsible. However, other water bodies within the basin also support the same zooplankton community structure as that of the lake, which may confirm that there have been shifts ecologically. From the review, it is also evident that zooplankton supports the fish composition and distribution in L. Victoria. The paper recommends for harmonized and standardized study methods for zooplankton in the lake.


Lake Victoria, Zooplankton, Ecological Shift, Invasive Species

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