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LakeVictoria_Water_Hyacinth

The Advanced Land Imager on the Earth Observing-1 satellite captured this image showing mats of water hyacinths on May 17, 2014, in Osodo Bay off the Sondu-Miriu Delta.

The water hyacinth, a popular flowering floating plant native to the Amazon, is one of the world’s fastest-spreading plants. The plant is popular with water gardeners for its splendid flowers and glossy weeds, but its ability to thrive has made it a tremendous pest, particularly in Africa’s Lake Victoria.

Since the plant became established in Lake Victoria in the 1990s, occasional outbreaks have caused serious problems, particularly for those along Winam Gulf, a shallow inlet in Kenya.

“This plant has at various times covered so much of the lake, especially in Winam Gulf, that it completely blocked out local fishing, clogged water supplies, and harbored pathogens harmful to local people and animals,” explained University of Nevada–Reno conservation biologist Thomas Albright. “At times, it has been an economic calamity at local and even regional levels.”

In 1997, an outbreak along the eastern and southern shores of Winam Gulf covered 172 square kilometers (66 square miles) of water. In 2006-2007, heavy rains and nutrient-rich runoff fueled an even larger outbreak, with plants that covered 40 square kilometers in March 2007, exploding to more than 400 square kilometers just a month later.

Image courtesy of NASA EO-1 Team/Jesse Allen.

Read the full story. 

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  • Oct 8, 2014
  • Comments Off on An Invasive Water Plant Spreads Quickly
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LakeVictoria_Water_Hyacinth

The Advanced Land Imager on the Earth Observing-1 satellite captured this image showing mats of water hyacinths on May 17, 2014, in Osodo Bay off the Sondu-Miriu Delta.

The water hyacinth, a popular flowering floating plant native to the Amazon, is one of the world’s fastest-spreading plants. The plant is popular with water gardeners for its splendid flowers and glossy weeds, but its ability to thrive has made it a tremendous pest, particularly in Africa’s Lake Victoria.

Since the plant became established in Lake Victoria in the 1990s, occasional outbreaks have caused serious problems, particularly for those along Winam Gulf, a shallow inlet in Kenya.

“This plant has at various times covered so much of the lake, especially in Winam Gulf, that it completely blocked out local fishing, clogged water supplies, and harbored pathogens harmful to local people and animals,” explained University of Nevada–Reno conservation biologist Thomas Albright. “At times, it has been an economic calamity at local and even regional levels.”

In 1997, an outbreak along the eastern and southern shores of Winam Gulf covered 172 square kilometers (66 square miles) of water. In 2006-2007, heavy rains and nutrient-rich runoff fueled an even larger outbreak, with plants that covered 40 square kilometers in March 2007, exploding to more than 400 square kilometers just a month later.

Image courtesy of NASA EO-1 Team/Jesse Allen.

Read the full story. 

Comments are closed.