FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2011
Effects of water levels in Lake Chilwa
Ann Arbor, MI — Lake Chilwa supports an important fishery for Malawi and Mozambique, especially for people living within the basin. This highly productive lake faces overfishing and increased degradation as the number of fishermen continues to increase and as the population practice agriculture around the basin and inside the lake when it is partially or completely dried.
The rapid population growth and increasing utilization of the lake and watershed as agricultural land poses risks to a lake that is already experiencing climate variability effects through occasional periods of drying which affect the lake and the fishery.
To help policy makers with additional science based information for Lake Chilwa conservation, researchers from University of Malawi and WorldFish Center investigated the physical and chemical parameters and monitored the biological responses over a year, between February 2004 and January 2005.
Water level fluctuations affect the lake's ecosystem by altering the chemical, physical, and biological properties of Lake Chilwa. The onset of the rains is a good indicative of better conditions, improvement of physical, chemical, and biological responses. As the dry season progress, water lake level drops altering the entire lake’s ecosystem.
Increasing agricultural activities in the lake owing to people's resilience to climate variability as the lake is fertile for crop production will adversely contribute negatively to Lake Chilwa ecosystem.
Original Publication Information
Results of this study, "Seasonal dynamics of physico-chemical characteristics and biological responses of Lake Chilwa, Southern Africa ," are reported by Messias A. Macuiane, Emmanuel K.W. Kaunda and Daniel Jamu in the latest issue (Volume 37, Suppl. 1, pp. 75-82) of the Journal of Great Lakes Research, published by Elsevier, 2011.
For more information about the study, contact contact Messias Alfredo Macuiane, Graduate Student University of Minnesota Duluth/Large Lakes Observatory, 2205 East 5th Street Duluth, Minnesota; firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone: (+265)999285590; Fax: (+265)1536274.
For information about the Journal of Great Lakes Research, contact Stephanie Guildford, Scientific Co-Editor, Large Lakes Observatory, University Minnesota Duluth, 2205 East Fifth Street, Duluth, Minnesota, 55812-2401; email@example.com; (218) 726-8064.
Since 1967, IAGLR has served as the focal point for compiling and disseminating multidisciplinary knowledge on North America's Laurentian Great Lakes and other large lakes of the world and their watersheds. In part, IAGLR communicates this knowledge through publication of the Journal of Great Lakes Research, available to members in print and electronic form. A searchable archive of the journal is available online and includes the abstracts of articles from the journal's inception in 1975 through the most recent issue. In addition, complete articles are available to members who have signed up for an electronic subscription.