Can Wetland Vegetation be Used to Describe Anthropogenic Effects and Pollution Patterns? The Case of Dakodwom and Kaase Wetlands in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana
Wetlands in general are losing their peculiar features, attributes, functions and products although the need to protect them is on the increase globally. Wetlands in Kumasi are not exempted. They are either being converted to other land uses or are directly affected by adjacent land use. Also, the vegetation of the different wetlands in Kumasi varies. This spatial heterogeneity in species of these urban spaces therefore makes management difficult. This research is therefore aimed at using the wetland vegetation to describe anthropogenic effects and pollution patterns in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana. Two large riverine wetland areas in Kumasi were selected. All plant species that are within 30 m from water channel were identified. Heavy metal concentrations and the associated anthropogenic activities in these wetlands were assessed. A total of 48 different plant species were identified in the study areas. Plant species with high importance value index observed at the sites included Ipomoea aquatica, Thalia geniculata, Ipomoea carica, Panicum maximum and Andropogon gayanus. Housing, vegetable farming and car repair shops were the major anthropogenic activities around these wetland areas. Also, all the heavy metals considered in this study were all present in both study sites. The very close similarity in the list of species identified makes it difficult to use vegetation to describe pollution. However, the adjacent anthropogenic activities are the sources of the pollutants and these activities also influence the vegetation.
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