Localization and Distribution of Two Invasive Alien Species Eichhornia crassipes and Echinocloa pyramidalis in the Pool Malebo Eco-region, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Annual Research & Review in Biology,
Aim: To study the distribution of two invasive alien plants and associated plants as well as their distribution in the Malebo Pool eco-region.
Methodology: The study was carried out by direct observation by circulating on a motorized canoe. Plant samples were randomly harvested (n=6) in August 2020 depends on the sites. Plant species identification was performed on the field, and those species of which the identification was difficult, were brought to the laboratory for proper identification according to APG III.
Results: 19 species, including two Pteridophytes and 17 Angiosperms, belonging to 19 families and 12 orders were identified. The site of Molondo was the most diversified with 15 plant species, followed respectively by the sites of Mipongo (13 species), Japon (12 species) and Kingabwa (07 species). The plant species Ludwigia abyssinica A. Rich., Ipomoea aquatica Forsk, Eichhornia crassipes (Mart), Pistia stratiotes L, Echinochloa pyramidalis (Lam) and Salvinia molesta D.S. Mitchell were present in all four prospected sites. E. pyramidalis and E. crassipes constitute a serious threat for the environment and are source of erosion/loss of aquatic biodiversity. Physiologically, these species form a mono-specific carpet and eliminate native or autochthonous species of aquatic flora.
Conclusions and Suggestions: The invasion of alien species is a consequence of human activities and a concern, as it affects all sectors of society. These plants can alter, disrupt, and degrade many ecosystem services like the disturbing of habitats and the alteration of the environmental and biological conditions around them. They can also reduce light and diversity of native aquatic plant species. Controlling invasive alien species is thus a challenge for the Congolese society. Political decision-makers are therefore invited to take appropriate measures for managing and protecting the local aquatic flora and valorize the invasive plants as potential medicinal remedy.
- aquatic ecosystem
- native species
- invasive plants
- Congo basin
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
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