The Potential for further proliferation of Water Hyacinth in Lakes Victoria, Kyoga and Kwania and some urgent aspects for research
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Shore environments of lakes Victoria and Kyoga with potential for the establishment and proliferation of water hyacinth were identified. They are characterised by: (i) shelter from violent off-shore and along-the-shore wind and wave action (ii) flat or gentle slope under relatively shallow water, and (iii) a muddy bottom rich in organic matter. Such environments are strongly associated with emergent macrophytes of papyrus, Vossia sp and, at times Typha sp where Pistia stratiotes, species of Ceratophyllum, Myriophylum and Nymphaea also occur. In Lake Kyoga association with Vossia sp facilitated establishment of water hyacinth even along wind-swept shores and promoted extension of mats of the two machrophytes into the open lake. Urgent research on water hyacinth is proposed in the areas of nutrient relations, weed biology and on its impact on the biodiversity resource, with particular emphasis on the fishery component. Findings from the research could facilitate formulation of weed control options and alternative resource management strategies. A regional approach to address the water hyacinth menace is highly recommended.