Invasive Species and their Impacts on the Ecology of Lake Victoria: A Rapid Review

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Argwings Omondi
Angima Merceline


Lake Victoria, one of Africa's largest freshwater lakes, has been severely impacted by invasive species, leading to significant ecological changes and threatening the region's biodiversity and socio-economic well-being. Two prominent invasive species in Lake Victoria are the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). The introduction of the Nile Tilapia has disrupted the native fish community through competition, predation, and habitat alteration, resulting in declines in native species and altering the trophic dynamics of the ecosystem. Water hyacinth, on the other hand, forms dense mats that impede sunlight penetration, reduce water quality, and hinder the movement of native species. These invasive species have cascading effects on the lake's food web, water clarity, oxygen levels, and overall ecosystem health. Addressing the impacts of invasive species in Lake Victoria requires integrated management approaches that combine prevention, early detection, and control measures. Strategies such as mechanical removal, biological control, and targeted herbicide use have been employed to mitigate the spread and impact of invasive species. Additionally, habitat restoration and public awareness initiatives are crucial for long-term conservation and sustainable management of the lake. Continuous scientific research and monitoring efforts are necessary to understand the dynamics of invasive species and their impacts, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies. Efforts to combat invasive species in Lake Victoria should be undertaken in a collaborative manner, involving government agencies, researchers, local communities, and other stakeholders. By implementing comprehensive management plans and promoting responsible practices, it is possible to restore the ecological balance of Lake Victoria, protect its rich biodiversity, and safeguard the livelihoods of communities that depend on its resources.


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How to Cite
Omondi, A., & Merceline, A. (2023). Invasive Species and their Impacts on the Ecology of Lake Victoria: A Rapid Review . PAN AFRICA SCIENCE JOURNAL, 3(02).
Fisheries and Aquatic Ecology
Author Biographies

Argwings Omondi, Sigalagala National Polytechnic

1 Department of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Sigalagala National Polytechnic, P.O Box 2966, Kakamega, Kenya.

2 Department of Environment, Natural Resources and Aquatic Sciences, Kisii University, P.O. Box 408-40200, Kisii, Kenya.

Angima Merceline, Kisii University

Department of Environment, Natural Resources and Aquatic Sciences, Kisii University, P.O. Box 408-40200, Kisii, Kenya.


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