Habitat Suitability Modeling of Benthic Macroinvertebrate Community in Wetlands of Lake Tana Watershed, Northwest Ethiopia
Authors: Ayenew Gezie, Worku Legesse Mulat, Wassie Anteneh, Eshete Dejen, Helmut Kloos, Seid Tiku Mereta
Predictive modelling corroborates decision-making in the development of a standard habitat assessment protocol. In this study, we modelled environmental requirements of benthic macroinvertebrates. Classification and regression tree models (CART) and ordination analysis were performed to identify important variables affecting macroinvertebrate community pattern in the Lake Tana Watershed. A dataset of 95 samples was collected from eight wetlands. Among the modelled taxa, Coenagrionidae and Libellulidae had substantial predictive performance based on Kappa statistic (ĸ > 0.6) whereas Baetidae, Physidae, Tipulidae and Hydrophilidae had moderate predictive model performance (ĸ ≥ 0.4). Vegetation cover, leather tanning, vegetation clearance and nitrate ion were the topmost selected environmental variables influencing the occurrence of macroinvertebrate taxa. The conditional analysis depicted that the abundance of Coenagrionidae and Libellulidae increased with the increasing in vegetation cover. Overall, macroinvertebrate taxa have a clear habitat requirement within the habitat gradient studied and hence, could be a potential candidate for biomonitoring and provide valuable information in the development of a standard wetland assessment protocol.