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Abstract Detail


Plant Biology in Sub-Saharan Africa

Ogwang, James [1].

Biological control of water hyacinth in Lakes Victoria and Kyoga – Uganda.

The world’s worst water weed – water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes, a native of South America first appeared in Lake Kyoga – Uganda in 1988 and spread rapidly to cover most of the major water bodies reaching L. Victoria in 1989. Ten years down the line, water hyacinth had accumulated biomass covering 12,000 ha of the lake. The massive biomass caused serious socio-economic, health, and industrial problems. Thick mats of the weed interfered with local water transport, fishing, hydro-electricity output and recreation. The thick mats also impacted on biodiversity – reducing spawning habitats of fish in addition to increased cases of malaria and bilharzia whose vectors were breeding in stagnant waters enclosed within the water hyacinth mats. An integrated control approach was adopted in Uganda involving mechanical removal, biological control using two weevil species – Neochetina bruchi and N. eichhorniae while use of herbicides was deferred following a recommendation from an environmental impact assessment. By 2000, the biomass of the weed had been reduced by an estimated 90%. While mechanical removal played an important part in alleviating points of economic importance like the hydro-power stations, biological control agents are credited with achieving one of the most spectacular cases of successful biological control in the world.


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1 - Namulonge Agricultural Research Institute, Biological Control of Pests and Weeds, PO Box 7084, Kampala, Uganda, Africa

Keywords:
none specified

Presentation Type: ASPB Major Symposium
Session: S02
Location: International Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 10:50 AM
Number: S02003
Abstract ID:977


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