Zooplankton taxa occurrences and composition associated with a cage aquaculture farm on Lake Victoria, Uganda

Latest version published by National Fisheries Resources Research Institute on 24 October 2020 National Fisheries Resources Research Institute

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The dataset presents zooplankton taxa presence and absence occurrence records obtained from monitoring cage fish culturing Farm, conducted from 2011 to 2020 in the northern Lake Victoria, Napoleon Gulf. Both areal and volumetric abundance data is provided for the present taxa, three major transects were followed; Downstream cages, within cages and Upstream cages with two reference sites. Part of this work was published by Mwebaza-Ndawula et al., (2013)

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Kiggundu V, Egessa R, Mwebaza-Ndawula L (2020): Zooplankton taxa occurrences and composition associated with a cage aquaculture farm on Lake Victoria, Uganda. v1.0. National Fisheries Resources Research Institute. Dataset/Occurrence. http://ipt-uganda.gbif.fr/resource?r=nafirri-son&v=1.0


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The publisher and rights holder of this work is National Fisheries Resources Research Institute. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC) 4.0 License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: a93cc450-f6b9-4f5d-9b12-c49013cf4c79.  National Fisheries Resources Research Institute publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by GBIF Uganda.


Occurrence; Zooplankton; Cage aquaculture; Lake Victoria; Uganda; Observation


Robert Egessa
  • Originator
Research Officer
National Fisheries Resources Research institute
Lucas Mwebaza-Ndawula
  • Originator
Senior Research Officer
National Fisheries Resources Research institute
Vianny Natugonza
  • Point Of Contact
Research Officer
National Fisheries Resources Research institute
Laban Musinguzi
  • User
  • Point Of Contact
Research Officer
National Fisheries Resources Research institute
Vincent Kiggundu
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
Senior Research Technician
National Fisheries Resources Research institute
343 Jinja

Geographic Coverage

The study area was in Napoleon Gulf, Northern part of Lake Victoria (Ugandan portion). Intensive fish cage farming is on the increase in this portion of the lake.

Bounding Coordinates South West [0.383, 33.186], North East [0.442, 33.26]

Taxonomic Coverage

Freshwater zooplankton retained in a plankton (Nansen) net of 60µm mesh size

Class Hexanauplia
Family Calanoidae, Cyclopoidae
Genus Afrocyclops, Ascomorpha, Asplanchna, Cephalodella, Chydorus, Euclanis, Hexathra, Macrothrix, Mesocyclops, Synchaeta, Trichocerca
Species Bosmina longirostris, Brachionus angularis, Brachionus bidentata, Brachionus budapestinensis, Brachionus calyciflorus, Brachionus caudatus, Brachionus dimidiatus, Brachionus falcatus, Brachionus forficula, Brachionus patulus, Brachionus plicatilis, Ceriodaphnia cornuta, Ceriodaphnia dubia, Daphnia longispina, Daphnia lumholtzi, Diaphanosoma excisum, Filinia longiseta, Filinia opoliensis, Keratella cochlearis, Keratella tropica, Lecane bulla, Lecane luna, Moina micrura, Polyarthra vulgaris, Synchaeta pectinata, Thermocyclops decipiens, Thermocyclops emini, Thermocyclops incisus, Thermocyclops neglectus, Thermocyclops oblongatus, Thermodiaptomus galeboides, Trichocerca cylindrica, Tropocyclops confinnis, Tropocyclops tenellus

Temporal Coverage

Formation Period 2011-2020

Project Data

The growing of fish in cages is a new venture in Uganda, and was first established in 2010 in Napoleon Gulf by Source of Nile Fish (SON) farm. This work is part of an ongoing quarterly monitoring of the SON fish cages. The data presented provide useful baseline information on cage fish farming on Lake Victoria.

Title Monitoring impacts of established fish cages at the SON Fish farm
Funding SON fish farm Limited
Study Area Description The study area was in Napoleon Gulf, Northern part of Lake Victoria (Ugandan portion)
Design Description Monitoring sampling is being done on a quarterly basis with three major transects; downstream, within and upstream of cages from 2011 to current. In the data, the transects are described in location remarks. For more information on the research design, see Egessa et al. (2018).

The personnel involved in the project:

Lucas Mwebaza-Ndawula
Vincent Kiggundu
Robert Egessa

Sampling Methods

Zooplankton samples were collected with a conical plankton net (Nansen type; mesh size 60 µm; mouth diameter 0.25 m), towed vertically through the water column, as described by Mwebaza-Ndawula (1994). Each sample was washed with tap water in the laboratory over a 53 µm sieve to remove the preservative and then diluted to a suitable volume, depending on the concentration of organisms in each sample. Sub-samples of 2, 2, 5 and 10 mL were taken with a wide bore automatic pipette from a well agitated sample. The sub-sample series were performed to consider the more abundant organisms in 2, 2 mL series, and the rarer organisms in 2, 2, 5, 10 mL series. Each sub-sample was put into a counting chamber and examined under inverted microscope (Hund, Wetzlar, Germany) at X100 magnification for taxonomic determination, and X40 for counting and organism body measurements.

Study Extent An annual quarterly monitoring sampling is ongoing since 2011 and the current data presents datasets from 2011 to June 2020 for Napoleon Gulf, northern Lake Victoria. Three transects; downstream, within, and upstream cages, with accompanying control point sites were established. However, the sampling design has so far been distorted due to changes in cage setup and expansion of cages within the Napoleon Gulf.
Quality Control Some zooplankton were able to be identified to species level using published taxonomic keys (Sars 1895; Pennak 1953; Brooks 1957; Rutner-Kolisko 1974; Koste 1978; Boxshall & Braide 1991; Korinek 1999). Taxonomic names were cross-checked using the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). Volume densities of organisms were calculated from the counts data, with reference to the sample net mouth diameter and water column depth at each sampling site (Mwebaza-Ndawula, 1998).

Method step description:

  1. Collection of the zooplankton In the field, a conical plankton net (Nansen type; mesh size 60 µm; mouth diameter 0.25 m), towed vertically through the water column to have an integrated sample. Three hauls were taken per site and were combined to make a composite sample.
  2. Preserving the samples The composite sample was preserved with sugar-formalin mixture. The sugar was to stop the ballooning of cladocerans for easy identification.
  3. Identification of zooplankton taxa In the laboratory, samples were washed using a sieve of 53 µm to remove the fixatives. Organisms were identified to the smallest taxonomic level possible using taxonomic keys (Sars, 1895, Pennak, 1953, Brooks, 1957, Rutner-Kolisko, 1974, Koste, 1978, Boxshall and Braide, 1991, Korinek, 1999). Density of organisms were calculated from the counts data, with reference to the sample net mouth diameter and water column depth at each sampling site (Mwebaza-Ndawula, 1998)

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Boxshall, G. A. & Braide, E. I. 1991. The freshwater cyclopoid copepods of Nigeria, with an illustrated key to all species. Bull. Br. Mus. Nat. Hist. (zool), 57, 185-212.
  2. Brooks, J. L. 1957. The systematics of North American Daphnia. Memoirs of the connecticut academy of Arts and Sciences, 13, 1-18.
  3. Kashindye, B. B., Nsinda, P., Kayanda, R., Ngupula, G. W., Mashafi, C. A. & Ezekiel, C. N. 2015. Environmental impacts of cage culture in Lake Victoria: the case of Shirati Bay-Sota, Tanzania. SpringerPlus, 4, 1-15.
  4. Korinek, V. 1999. A guide to limnetic species of Cladocera of African inland waters (Crustacea, Branchiopoda). The International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology. SIL.
  5. Koste, W. 1978. Rotatoria. Die Radertiere Mitteleuropas. Ein Bestimmungwerk, begrundet vo Max Voig. Uberrordnung Monogononta. Gebruder Borntraeger, Berlin, Stuttgart.
  6. Mwebaza-Ndawula, L. 1998. Distribution, abundance of zooplankton and Rastrineobola argentea (Pisces: Cyprinidae) and their trophic interactions in northern Lake Victoria, East Africa. , University of Vienna, Austria, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis.
  7. Mwebaza-Ndawula, L., Kiggundu, V., Magezi, G., Naluwayiro, J., Ghandhi-Pabire, W. & Ocaya, H. 2013. Effects of cage fish culture on water quality and selected biological communities in northern Lake Victoeia, Uganda. Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 14, 61-75.
  8. Pennak, R. W. 1953. Fresh-water invertebrates of the United States, New York, John Wiley & Sons.
  9. Rutner-Kolisko, A. 1974. Planktonic rotifers: Biology and taxonomy, Biological Station Lunz of the Austrian Academy of Science. E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung.
  10. Rzoska, J. 1957. Notes on the crustacean plankton of Lake Victoria. proc. Linn. Soc. Lond, 168, 1126-125.
  11. Sars, G. O. 1895. An account of the Crustacea of Norway, Christiania and Copenhagen Alb. Cammermeyer Forlag
  12. Vincent, K., Mwebaza-Ndawula, L., Makanga, B. & Nachuha, S. 2012. Variations in zooplankton community structure and water quality conditions in three habitat types in northern Lake Victoria. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research & Management, 17, 83-95.
  13. Egessa, R., Pabire, G. W., & Ocaya, H. (2018). Benthic macroinvertebrate community structure in Napoleon Gulf, Lake Victoria: effects of cage aquaculture in eutrophic lake. Environmental monitoring and assessment, 190(3), 112.

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