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Lake Chilwa pp 79-90 | Cite as

The aquatic environment: II. Chemical and physical characteristics of the Lake Chilwa swamps

  • C. Howard-Williams
Part of the Monographiae Biologicae book series (MOBI, volume 35)

Abstract

The form of many large tropical African lakes favours extensive development of marginal vegetation, often as swamps. Lakes such as Chad, Chioga, Bang- weulu, Mweru, Upemba, George, Naivasha, Malombe and Chilwa as well, are wholly or partially surrounded by extensive swamp areas. Beadle (1974) mentions that the area occupied by swamps in tropical Africa may be greater than that of the open waters of all the lakes of the region. Lake Chilwa is therefore not unique in this respect, although as pointed out in Chapter 7 the swamp here is made up of Typha domingensis (Fig. 5.1), rather than Cyperus papyrus as in most other tropical African lakes. The general structure of swamp communities is similar irrespective of the dominant plant species but, as will be discussed in this chapter, the physical environment of a Typha swamp differs in certain important respects from that of a papyrus swamp. These differences make the Chilwa swamps unlike those of other lakes.

Keywords

Lake Water Onshore Wind Open Lake Horizontal Stratification Marginal Vegetation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk bv Publishers, The Hague 1979

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  • C. Howard-Williams

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