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A Review of Some Characteristics of Freshwater and Coastal Ecosystems in Ghana

Author(s): Biney CA


Data collected over a ten year period have been used to review some characteristics of freshwater and coastal ecosystems in Ghana. Studies were conducted on two recently formed man-made lakes, one river, five coastal lagoons and waters along the ocean front.

Freshwaters had near neutral pH while coastal waters were alkaline. In both ecosystems the pH of sediments were lower than those of corresponding waters. While the transparency of coastal waters varied within narrow limits, large variations were observed in freshwaters. The lowest concentration of nutrients occurred in the river and the highest in coastal waters.

In general, differences in these physical and chemical characteristics do not depend on whether the aquatic systems were fresh, brackish or saline. They seem to be more influenced by such factors as whether a water body: (1) was lotic or lentic, (2) was influenced by industrial or domestic activities, (3) was affected by impoundment, (4) received turbid water inflows, or (5) was eutrophic.

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