Tatenda Dalu

Tatenda Dalu
University of Mpumalanga · Biology and Environmental Sciences

PhD Marine Biology
www.aquasystems-res.com https://www.facebook.com/AquaticSystemsResearchGroup

About

213
Publications
140,691
Reads
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3,021
Citations
Citations since 2017
160 Research Items
2844 Citations
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Introduction
I am interested in the general aquatic ecology of wetlands, reservoirs and rivers/estuaries. I have a strong interest in trophic, plankton and invasion ecology, environmental assessment, biodiversity and conservation. For more information, see website: www.aquasystems-res.com
Additional affiliations
January 2021 - present
University of Mpumalanga
Position
  • Lecturer
November 2019 - November 2024
The World Acadeny of Science
Position
  • Fellow
April 2019 - March 2022
Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study
Position
  • Fellow
Education
April 2016 - April 2016
Rhodes University
Field of study
  • Business
June 2012 - June 2012
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education
Field of study
  • Aquatic Ecology
March 2012 - August 2014
Rhodes University
Field of study
  • Marine Biology

Publications

Publications (213)
Book
Full-text available
Fundamentals of Tropical Freshwater Wetlands: From Ecology to Conservation Management is a practical guide and important tool for practitioners and educators interested in the ecology, conservation and management of wetlands in tropical/subtropical regions. The book is written in such a way that, in addition to scientists and managers, it is access...
Article
Full-text available
Planktonic invasive species cause adverse effects on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, these impacts are often underestimated because of unresolved taxonomic issues and limited biogeographic knowledge. Thus, it is pivotal to start a rigorous quantification of impacts undertaken by planktonic invasive species on global economies....
Article
Full-text available
As an emerging pollutant in the life cycle of plastic products, micro/nanoplastics (M/NPs) are increasingly being released into the natural environment. Substantial concerns have been raised regarding the environmental and health impacts of M/NPs. Although diverse M/NPs have been detected in natural environment, most of them display two similar fea...
Article
Full-text available
Remote sensing of groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) has increased substantially in recent years. Of significant prominence, is the delineation and mapping of groundwater-dependent vegetation (GDV), species diversity, and water quality in these ecosystems. Groundwater-dependent ecosystems provide several ecological services such as habitat for...
Article
The Emergency Recovery Plan for freshwater biodiversity recognises that addressing non-native species is one of six principal actions needed to bend the curve in freshwater biodiversity loss. This is because introduction rates of non-native species continue to accelerate globally and, where these species develop invasive populations, they can have...
Article
Full-text available
In fisheries science, life-history trait information is widely used to estimate fish population recruitment, growth, and mortality. The aging and growth of Oreochromis mossambicus from the Sundays River Valley irrigation pond in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa were determined using otoliths. Mark recapture of chemically-tagged wild fish w...
Article
Identifying and delineating groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) is critical in understanding their location, distribution and groundwater allocation. However, this information is inadequately understood due to limited available data for most areas where they occur. Thus, this study aims to address this gap using remotely sensed, analytical hier...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien species continue to spread and proliferate in waterways worldwide, but environmental drivers of invasion dynamics lack assessment. Knowledge gaps are pervasive in the Global South, where the frequent heavy human-modification of rivers provides high opportunity for invasion. In southern Africa, the spatio-temporal ecology of a widespr...
Article
Full-text available
Plant invasions have been linked to displacement of native vegetation and altering of fire regimes and might influence vector mosquito populations by altering habitats or nutrient inputs. Whereas wildfire effects on terrestrial ecosystems are relatively well-studied, ash depositions into aquatic ecosystems and effects on semi-aquatic taxa such as m...
Article
Full-text available
Large wood deposited in rivers provides ecological benefits for multiple trophic groups, but public perceptions of these deposits can be varied. In particular, flooding experiences linked to large wood debris could influence how the public and stake-holders view large wood deposited into the river ecosystem. Here, we assessed the perceptions toward...
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands physical and biological processes are fundamental to the distribution and structuring of organic matter in sediments. This study investigated spatial and temporal changes in organic matter sources in sediments within the Nylsvley Wetland, South Africa across two seasons, five sites and three wetland zones and identified pertinent contribut...
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands are amongst the world’s most important ecosystems, providing direct and indirect benefits to local communities. However, wetlands worldwide continue to be degraded due to unsustainable use and improper resource management. In this paper, we assess the perceptions, importance, management and utilisation of wetlands among local community mem...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Sound management of protected areas is crucial for biodiversity conservation. In savanna systems, fire is common, yet little is known on the direct and long-term effects of prescribed burns on arthropod abundance, richness, and diversity. Standardised pitfall traps and active searches were used to compare variation in abundance, richness...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic activities have increasingly subjected freshwater ecosystems globally to various pressures. Increasing land use activities have been highly linked to deteriorating freshwater ecosystems and dwindling biodiversity. For sound management and conservation policies to be implemented, relations between land use, environmental, and biotic co...
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions are one of the top drivers of the ongoing biodiversity crisis. An underestimated consequence of invasions is the enormity of their economic impacts. Knowledge gaps regarding economic costs produced by invasive alien species (IAS) are pervasive, particularly for emerging economies such as India—the fastest growing economy worldw...
Article
Full-text available
Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) are under threat from groundwater over-abstraction, which significantly impacts their conservation and sustainable management. Although the socio-economic significance of GDEs is understood, their ecosystem services and ecological significance (e.g., biodiversity hotspots) in arid environments remains underst...
Article
Full-text available
Plankton are key components of wetland ecosystems, comprising different food web levels. In the present study, we assessed temporal plankton diversity patterns in three temporary wetland systems over winter inundation periods. We examined taxon relationships with environmental variability associated with wetland inundation phase changes, over six c...
Article
Full-text available
Lycodonomorphus is a genus of lamprophiid water snake endemic in Africa. Although widespread, abundant and presumably an important component of many aquatic and semi-aquatic food webs, these snakes are poorly understood taxonomically, particularly from a phylogenetic perspective. With only four of the nine species currently sequenced, this study at...
Article
Full-text available
Global contamination of freshwater ecosystems by chemical compounds, such as pesticides, may exert high pressure on biologically-driven organic matter decomposition. These pollutants may also impair the quality of organic substrates for colonising invertebrates and reduce primary productivity by decreasing the abundance of phytoplankton. In souther...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change, land cover change and the over–abstraction of groundwater threaten the existence of Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems (GDE), despite these environments being regarded as biodiversity hotspots. The vegetation heterogeneity in GDEs requires routine monitoring in order to conserve and preserve the ecosystem services in these environment...
Article
Anthropogenic land use changes influence ecosystem functioning and may alter trophic interactions. Intensification of free–range pastoral farming could promote degradation of aquatic habitats, with nutrient inputs adversely affecting water quality and resident communities. Reductions in natural enemies (and potentially efficacy thereof) and dampeni...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires are natural or anthropogenic phenomena increasing at alarming rates globally due to land-use alterations, droughts, climatic warming, hunting and biological invasions. Whereas wildfire effects on terrestrial ecosystems are marked and relatively well-studied, ash depositions into aquatic ecosystems have often remained overlooked but have t...
Article
Full-text available
The use of pesticides in agricultural systems may have deleterious effects on surrounding environments. Aquatic systems are no exception and are increasingly polluted through the leaching of pesticides from agricultural activities. However, the pesticide pollution effects on key aquatic species have not been studied in many regions. In southern Afr...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding trophic interactions is essential for the prediction and measurement of structure and function in aquatic environments. Communities in these ecosystems may be shaped by variables such as predator diversity, prey density and emergent multiple predator effects (MPEs), which are likely to influence trophic dynamics. In this study, we exa...
Book
Full-text available
Emerging Freshwater Pollutants: Analysis, Fate and Regulations comprises of 20 chapters, all written by leading experts. This book is written in the most practical terms and is easy to understand, with numerous helpful examples and case studies and can be used as a practical guide and important educational tool on issues concerning freshwater emerg...
Chapter
Full-text available
There is a scarce of qualitative and quantitative information regarding the status of emerging pollutants in aquatic bodies within the developing world. Few pieces of literature are available from Africa and South America on emerging pollutants, with countries such as South Africa and Brazil leading the way in terms of research, leaving the rest of...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien species are a growing global problem, and aquatic ecosystems have been regarded as particularly vulnerable. Biological invasions can alter ecosystem functioning, threaten native biodiversity and burden the global economy. Understanding alien species ability to disperse via locomotion following arrival to new environments is critical...
Article
Full-text available
Mediterranean climate river systems are among the most threatened ecosystems worldwide, due to a long history of anthropogenic impacts and alien invasive species introductions. Many of such rivers naturally exhibit a non-perennial flow regime, with distinct seasonal, inter-annual and spatial heterogeneity. The present study seeks to detect diatom c...
Article
Full-text available
As apex predators, marine mammals play a key role in maintaining community structure and functioning in marine ecosystems. Hence, a decline in marine mammal populations may have negative effects on the ecosystem function and services. The discharge of anthropogenic chemicals and particles (micropollutants) into the marine environment threatens the...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental pollution and biological invasions are key drivers of biodiversity change. However, the effects of invasion and pollution on food webs remain largely unexplored. Here, we used stable isotopes to examine the effects of common carp Cyprinus carpio and pollution on trophic dynamics in six small reservoirs. Our results revealed that the t...
Chapter
Full-text available
This volume on Fundamentals of Tropical Freshwater Wetlands is comprised of a collection of twenty-three chapters, covering a range of relevant topics and authored by specialists working in tropical freshwater environments. While diverse and voluminous, the book is by no means comprehensive. Projects of this nature often involve compromise at vario...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on phytoplankton ecology in tropical wetlands; giving insight on community assemblages, influence of environmental variables, health concerns and application in biomonitoring. Phytoplankton assemblages are generally structured by physicochemical and biological variables within aquatic ecosystems. However, current literature see...
Chapter
Full-text available
Despite their important role in supporting important ecosystem functions in tropical wetlands, explorative and taxonomical studies on tropical zooplankton are still limited, hampering accurate comparisons between biogeographical regions and different wetland types. With this review we integrated current knowledge on patterns of species richness and...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter introduces and synthesizes food web dynamics within tropical and subtropical wetlands, considering a range of organisms at different trophic levels, hydrological characteristics, and wetland types. The relationship between hydroperiod and trophic dynamics is appraised considering both endorheic wetlands and those periodically connected...
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands in the Global South are under increasing pressure due to multiple stressors associated with global change. Water and sediment quality assessments, as well as biomonitoring using macroinvertebrates communities, are fundamental tools for informing wetland condition and management strategies. Here, we examine water and sediment parameters aff...
Article
Full-text available
In early fish life stages, information on their age structure can be used to clarify the effects of environmental changes on their growth and survival, thereby providing an improved understanding of factors affecting their recruitment success. There is currently inadequate understanding of the age structure of Hydrocynus vittatus in the Sanyati Bas...
Article
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Global freshwaters are increasingly threatened by pollutants emanating from human activities around watersheds. Microplastic pollution is an increasing problem for rivers worldwide, potentially threatening ecological integrity, ecosystem services and human health. We present quantifications and characterisations of sediment microplastic pollution i...
Article
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Much research effort has been invested in understanding ecological impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) across ecosystems and taxonomic groups, but empirical studies about economic effects lack synthesis. Using a comprehensive global database, we determine patterns and trends in economic costs of aquatic IAS by examining: (i) the distribution of...
Article
Full-text available
Irrigation ponds are increasingly abundant globally, particularly in water-stressed countries with limited natural surface waters, yet knowledge of their ecology is limited. Here, we assessed zooplankton, macroinvertebrate, and littoral fish communities from irrigation ponds located in the Sundays River Valley in South Africa. This study assessed t...
Article
Large branchiopods are specialist crustaceans adapted for life in temporary, thermally dynamic wetland ecosystems. Certain large branchiopod species are, however, restricted to specific temporary wetland types, exemplified by their physico-chemical and hydroperiod characteristics. Here, we contrasted the thermal preference and critical thermal maxi...
Article
Full-text available
The poor understanding of changes in mollusc ecology along rivers, especially in West Africa, hampers the implementation of management measures. We used a self-organizing map, indicator species analysis, linear discriminant analysis and a random forest model to distinguish mollusc assemblages, to determine the ecological preferences of individual m...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biological invasions are one of the top drivers of the ongoing biodiversity crisis. An underestimated consequence of invasions is the enormity of their economic impacts. Knowledge gaps regarding economic costs produced by invasive alien species (IAS) are pervasive, particularly for emerging economies such as India — the fastest growing economy worl...
Article
Full-text available
With ~70% of the sub-Saharan population living in rural areas, more than 90% of rural African households depend on natural forest products. Although several studies in other parts of South Africa have looked into the use of natural forest products in poverty alleviation, little is known on the roles and relative contribution of natural forest produ...
Article
Full-text available
Predation is a critical ecological process that directly and indirectly mediates population stabilities, as well as ecosystem structure and function. The strength of interactions between predators and prey may be mediated by multiple density dependences concerning numbers of predators and prey. In temporary wetland ecosystems in particular, fluctua...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic pressures on standing waterbody systems potentially result in changes to sediment and water qualities, and thus ecological community characteristics. We tested effects of drawdown on physical, water and sediment variables, as well as their effects on littoral macroinvertebrate community composition in two subtropical reservoirs. Water...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien species impacts might be mediated by environmental factors such as climatic warming. For invasive predators , multiple predator interactions could also exacerbate or dampen ecological impacts. These effects may be especially pronounced in highly diverse coastal ecosystems that are prone to profound and rapid regime shifts. We examine...
Article
Full-text available
The physical properties of habitats are crucial determinants of community structure with significant effects on food web dynamics. We examined the effects of rock pool physical properties (e.g. pool size, water depth) and short-term temporal (seasonal) change (e.g. temperature, nutrients) on food web structure at small spatial scales (c. 500 m) on...
Article
Full-text available
Spinicaudatan clam shrimp are a widespread and diverse group of branchiopod crustaceans, yet few mitochondrial genomes have been published for this taxonomic group. Here, we present the mitogenome of Leptestheria brevirostris from a rock pool ecosystem in Botswana. Massively parallel sequencing of a single specimen facilitated the reconstruction of...
Article
The stratification of a lentic water system is an important factor regulating its biotic activities and processes. The present study investigated changes in temperature and oxygen stratification regimes in Mazvikadei Reservoir 27 years after the first study was conducted during its filling phase. The FLake‐Global model was also tested as a predicti...
Article
Full-text available
Riparian zones are important for the maintenance of aquatic ecosystem functional integrity, yet are considered to be particularly vulnerable to plant invasions. The role of terrestrial riparian plant invasions in compromising aquatic ecosystem processes is, however, still poorly understood. This issue is particularly relevant for temporary rivers,...
Article
Full-text available
1. The control of invasive alien fish populations using piscicides to alleviate impacts on native biota is a controversial conservation strategy because the collateral impacts on non‐target taxa are not well documented. This article documents the responses of water quality, plankton and macroinvertebrate communities to an eradication of the globall...
Article
Full-text available
Olaf LF Weyl, 48, Chief Scientist at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) passed away on the Wolf River in Hogsback, South Africa on 14 November. Born in Giessen, Germany, Olaf was raised in southern Africa, where his parents served as development workers. Driven by a passion for fishes and tireless work ethic, Olaf devoted...
Article
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Background: Predators play a critical role in regulating larval mosquito prey populations in aquatic habitats. Understanding predator-prey responses to climate change-induced environmental perturbations may foster optimal efficacy in vector reduction. However, organisms may differentially respond to heterogeneous thermal environments, potentially...
Article
Full-text available
We review the current knowledge surrounding the Triops granarius morphological species group globally, and present a revision of the southern African T. granarius forms based on collections from southern Africa and Madagascar. We also provide comparisons with other material of T. granarius from outside this region. We revise the morphological descr...
Article
Full-text available
South Africa is in the process of developing a National Freshwater (Inland) Wild Capture Fisheries Policy. A properly focused research strategy is essential to guide the policy development process, and thus a dedicated ‘Inland Fisheries’ workshop was convened by the South African Society for Aquatic Scientists in June 2018 to update and further dev...
Article
Full-text available
Increased fishing pressure from artisanal and recreational fishing has led to the collapse of some important fish stocks around the world over the past years. There is currently limited understanding of the impacts of recreational and artisanal fishing on tigerfish Hydrocynus vittatus populations in Lake Kariba and the socioeconomic factors behind...
Article
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The uplifting Twitter trend #BlackInNature highlights the stories of Black people in the outdoors, many of whom are life scientists who perform research in the field. We asked #BlackInNature scientists to share their experiences and motivations to get outside.
Article
Full-text available
The study of wetlands is particularly important as these systems act as natural water purifiers and thus can act as sinks for contaminated particles. Wetland sediments are important as they provide an indication of potential contamination across temporal and spatial scales. The current study aimed to investigate the distributions of selected metals...
Article
Full-text available
Rivers are impacted by pollutants from anthropogenic activities such as urbanisation and agricultural practices. Whilst point source pollution has been widely studied and in some cases remediated, non-point pollutant sources remain pervasive, particularly in developing countries that lack economic and human capacity. Monitoring of pollution levels...
Article
Full-text available
Size at maturity, sex ratio and maturity stages are key population parameters in fisheries management of exploited stocks because they influence survival of fish populations. The decline in Hydrocynus vittatus catches during the tigerfish competition and along the shoreline of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe prompted this study. This study investigated popul...
Article
Full-text available
We are writing to describe the predatory potential of calanoid copepods for the regulation of mosquito larval populations in aquatic environments. Mosquito-borne diseases continue to drive unparalleled human morbidity and mortality (Ferguson 2018), and directly threaten other wildlife (George et al. 2015). This disease burden is most concentrated i...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species continue to spread and alter ecological function and structure in natural systems. Invasive alien plant species can be particularly ecologically damaging and costly to control, yet their success might be influenced by key habitat characteristics which can be empirically measured. The present study employs field surveys and laborato...
Article
The authors regret that, while revisiting the methods section of the paper, a serious error in reporting the microplastics used in the experiment was discovered. The microplastics were reported as“...microplastic (i.e., ultra-high molecular weight, surface-modified multi-coloured polyethylene powder, 125μm particle size (Sigma-Aldrich, UK))...”(Mbe...
Article
Full-text available
Plastic pollution is a major global issue and its impacts on ecosystems and socioeconomic sectors lack comprehensive understanding. The integration of plastics issues into the educational system of both primary and secondary schools has often been overlooked, especially in Africa, presenting a major challenge to environmental awareness. Owing to th...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf litter contributes to the functioning of aquatic ecosystems through allochthonous inputs of carbon, nitrogen, and other elements. Here, we examine leaf litter nutrient inputs and decomposition associated with four plant species using a mesocosm approach. Native sycamore fig Ficus sycomorus L., and silver cluster-leaf Terminalia sericea Burch....
Article
Full-text available
1. Land use intensification and climate change are two prominent drivers of variation in biological communities. However, we know very little about how these two potential environmental stressors interact. Here, we use a stable isotope approach to quantify how animal communities respond to urban and agriculture land use, and to latitudinal variatio...
Article
Full-text available
Lake and reservoir ecosystems are regarded as heterotrophic detritus-based habitats which are dependent on both autochthonous and allochthonous organic matter for the majority of energy inputs. In particular, allochthonous detritus is in particular important for the trophic dynamics of microbial organisms, macroinvertebrates and benthic plants in f...
Article
Full-text available
Metal pollution is pervasive across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems owing to anthropogenic activities. Sediments can accrue high concentrations of metals and act as secondary sources, and thus may be valuable indicators of metal contamination across spatiotemporal scales. In aquatic systems, the extent of metal pollution may be further mediated...
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics have become a major environmental concern globally due to their potential impact on ecosystem function. They are known to be ubiquitously present, persistent and bio-accumulative, yet there is a lack of abundance quantifications in freshwater shorelines. Furthermore, there is litt