Perceverence Tenza

Perceverence Tenza



Perceverence Tenza

MSc Student

The wellbeing of the freshwater macroinvertebrate communities of the uMvoti and Thukela Rivers.



South Africa’s aquatic ecosystems are significantly affected by anthropogenic activities. Such activities include agriculture, irrigation, electricity, mining and industrial processes. Even higher living standards and the rapid increase in population growth rate pose a threat to sustainable use of water and management because more water is required in order to satisfy human basic needs. My study focus mainly of aquatic macro-invertebrate communities which are regarded as fundamental part of wetland and stream ecosystems. Worldwide, macro-invertebrate are highly recommended and frequently used when assessing the biological integrity of riverine ecosystems, mainly because there is vast knowledge of their sensitivity to different stresses. In addition, they are abundant, easy to collect (visible to the naked eye), easy to identify, have rapid life cycles and they have large sedentary habits.



The overall aim of this study is to evaluate macro-invertebrate community responses to water quality, quantity and habitat changes in the lower uMvoti and Thukela Rivers.



In order to reach the aim, the following objectives need to be established:

  • Assess the response of aquatic macro-invertebrate to changes in environmental variable states.
  • Identify environmental variables that are strongly associated with macro-invertebrate community responses.
  • Evaluate the ecological health of a river system using macro-invertebrate community structures.
  • Evaluate the use of macro-invertebrate community structures as indicators of ecosystem wellbeing and provide river management recommendations.


The South African Scoring System (version 5), Macroinvertebrate Response Assessment Index (MIRAI) and multivariate statistical analyses will be implemented in order to reach the aim of this study.


Perceverence is also involved in the River Health Program and SAPPI surveys.




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