GEP  Vol.5 No.11 , November 2017
Proliferation of Salvinia molesta at Lake Kyoga Landing Sites as a Result of Anthropogenic Influences
Abstract: Salvinia molesta (native of south-eastern Brazil) is a free floating aquatic fern that has spread to several countries around the globe including Uganda. Under optimum growing conditions, the plant is capable of spreading rapidly where it can have immense environmental, economic and human health impacts. Thick mats of the weed have been recorded in some parts of Lake Kyoga, Uganda where it hinders the abstraction of water, docking and boat take-off, bathing and swimming activities. Therefore this study aimed to determine the extent of S. molesta at selected landing sites in Lake Kyoga and the influence of anthropogenic activities on the weed coverage as well as the effect of physico-chemical parameters of the water on the development of the weed. Quadrats were used to ascertain the coverage of S. molesta while the physico-chemical parameters were determined by standard methods. The results showed significant positive correlation of S. molesta weed coverage with phosphates (PO4-P) and negative correlations with pH, dissolved oxygen (DO) and water flow rate. Though statistically insignificant waste sites recorded the highest overall S. molesta coverage (82.61 ± 21.12 m2) per 400 m2 quadrat followed by boat docks (82.24 ± 19.45 m2), gardens (50.93 ± 11.82 m2) and finally fishing areas (27.94 ± 5.93 m2) respectively. The overall weed coverage was highest around the shoreline locations of Acholi inn landing site (101.72 ± 22.89 m2 per 400 m2) followed by Masindi port (60.39 ± 15.64 m2), Waitumba (41.89 ± 10.55 m2) and the least in the offshore location at Kayei landing site (39.71 ± 10.17 m2). Salvinia molesta distribution in Lake Kyoga is linked to nutrient (PO4-P) supply, proximity to the shoreline and the associated anthropogenic activities. Hence waste sites, gardens and boat docks enhance S. molesta invasion in Lake Kyoga. Therefore, sources of nutrients (phosphates) into Lake Kyoga that favour the proliferation of S. molesta should be minimized through adequate waste treatment and prohibition of cultivation close to the lake. Salvinia molesta coverage along the routes of moving boats should also be contained so as to reduce the spread of the weed in the lake through boat movements. Furthermore, eradication efforts of S. molesta weed in Lake Kyoga should be heightened at the shoreline areas of the lake in the various landing sites within the lake basin.
Cite this paper: Andama, M. , Ongom, R. and Lukubye, B. (2017) Proliferation of Salvinia molesta at Lake Kyoga Landing Sites as a Result of Anthropogenic Influences. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 5, 160-173. doi: 10.4236/gep.2017.511012.

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