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|Title:||Functioning and dynamics of wetland vegetation of Lake Victoria: an overview||Authors:||F., Kansiime
M. J., Saunders
Loiselle, Steven Arthur
|Issue Date:||2007||Project:||None||Journal:||WETLANDS ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT||Abstract:||
he aquatic macrophytic vegetation constituting the wetlands situated along the coast of Lake Victoria provides valuable services to both local and regional communities as well as an important ecological function through the transition between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The wetland vegetation is typically rooted in the substrate on the landward side of the lake, but forms a floating mat towards the middle of the wetland and at the wetland/lake interface. Cyperus papyrus and Miscanthidium violaceum vegetation typically dominate the permanently inundated wetland areas along most of the shores of Lake Victoria. Due to the prevailing climatic and hydrological catchment conditions, these macrophytic plants (papyrus in particular) tend to exhibit high net productivity and nutrient uptake which strongly influences both wetland status and lake water quality. In addition, these wetlands provide important economic livelihoods for the local populations. The integrity and physical structure of these wetlands strongly influences their associated mass transport mechanisms (water, nutrients and carbon) and ecosystem processes. Wetland degradation in Africa is an increasing problem, as these ecosystems are relied upon to attenuate industrial, urban and agricultural pollution and supply numerous services and resources. In an integrated project focused on the wetlands of Lake Victoria, the ecological and economic aspects of littoral wetlands were examined and new instruments developed for their sustainable management.
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