Biological Invasions

, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 2517–2534 | Cite as

Potential impacts of water hyacinth invasion and management on water quality and human health in Lake Tana watershed, Northwest Ethiopia

  • Ayenew Gezie
  • Workiyie Worie Assefa
  • Belachew Getnet
  • Wassie Anteneh
  • Eshete Dejen
  • Seid Tiku MeretaEmail author
Original Paper


Incursion of water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes, has been a potential threat to Lake Tana and its ecosystem services. Its expansion is currently managed by abstraction (removing by hand); nonetheless, the disposal of mats and formation of pools are remaining problematic. This study aimed to assess the potential effects of water hyacinth and its management on water quality and human health. Biotic and abiotic data were collected on open water, water hyacinth covered and water hyacinth cleared out habitats. A total of 3673 invertebrates belonging to twenty-one families were collected from 45 sites. Culicidae was the most abundant family accounting (37.2%), followed by Unionoidae (19.4%) and Sphaeriidae (8.1%). Abundance of anopheline and culicine larvae were significantly higher in water hyacinth cleared out habitats (p < 0.05). Water conductivity and total dissolved solids were significantly higher in habitats covered with water hyacinth (p < 0.05). In conclusion, water hyacinth infestation had a negative impact on water quality and biotic communities. The physical abstraction of water hyacinth provided a very good habitat for the proliferation of mosquito larvae. Therefore, integrating water hyacinth management practices along with mosquito larvae control strategy could help to abate the potential risk of malaria outbreak in the region. In addition, developing watershed scale nutrient management systems could have a vital contribution for managing water hyacinth invasion in the study area.


Blue Nile Lake Tana Macroinvertebrate Mosquito larvae Water hyacinth 



The authors would like to acknowledge Bahir Dar University, Blue Nile Water research institute and Jimma University for providing material and financial assistance for this study. The study area map was digitized by Yihun Abdie from the Department of Environmental Sciences and Technology, Jimma University. Furthermore, the authors wish to thank all people who helped with laboratory and fieldwork.

Authors’ contribution

AG has conceived the main idea of the paper, collected the data, and has written the paper. WWA and BG have been collected the data and reading paper. WA and ES have been helping in writing and reading the paper. STM has been analyzing the data and writing the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict interest.

Supplementary material

10530_2018_1717_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (6.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (JPEG 6514 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayenew Gezie
    • 1
    • 5
  • Workiyie Worie Assefa
    • 1
    • 3
  • Belachew Getnet
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wassie Anteneh
    • 1
  • Eshete Dejen
    • 4
  • Seid Tiku Mereta
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiologyBahir Dar UniversityBahir DarEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceBahir Dar UniversityBahir DarEthiopia
  3. 3.Blue Nile Water InstituteBahir Dar UniversityBahir DarEthiopia
  4. 4.Intergovernmental Authority on DevelopmentDjiboutiRepublic of Djibouti
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Health Sciences and TechnologyJimma UniversityJimmaEthiopia

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