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Aim: To identify invasive aquatic alien plant species found in the Pool Malebo and some rivers in Kinshasa city, their behavior as well as their socio-economic impacts.
Study Design: The study used a combination of purposive sampling and simple random sampling in order to select different sites where samples were collected.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was carried out in different rivers (Pool Malebo system (Kinkole, Kingabwa), and N'sele, Funa and Lukaya rivers) of Kinshasa city in Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Pool Malebo is located along the Congo River. This was conducted between March and October 2013.
Methodology: The collection was performed after a direct observation. The location of collection depended on sites, at Kingabwa and Kinkole, we collected invasive species in the middle of the Congo river and to achieve that, we used canoe. While at N’sele, Lukaya and Funa rivers, samples were collected at the edges. The collection took place in the morning between 7 and 11 am. Recorded species were classified either alien species or invasive alien species according to the status in the study region. The identification of collected species was carried out according to APG III. Seeing the way these species invade the environment and how they disturb the ecology of rivers, the physico-chemical characteristics of waters were measured between 7:00 and 11:00 am with the appropriate electronic probe for each parameter. For each parameter, the comparison between the sites was carried out using the ANOVA test with XLSTAT 2013 software.
Results: Out of 151 specimens collected, 35 species have been identified of which 19 species as alien were identified and 4 proved to be invasive alien species, namely: Eichhornia crassipes, Echinochloa pyramidalis, Ludwigia peploides and Pistia stratiotes. These invasive species are used by farmers as livestock feed and also as green manure for different agricultural and farming activities, As to the physico-chemical characteristics, no significant differences were observed for the temperature and the turbidity in various sites while the pH and conductivity, there was a highly significant difference between different sites. The hydrology of these rivers is seriously disturbed due to the presence of these invasive alien species. These species constitute a serious threat in the erosion of aquatic biodiversity in the removal of native species in the formation of floating monospecific dense mats as observed.
Conclusion: The invasion of alien species is a consequence of human activities and a concern, which affects all sectors of the society. It constitutes a true challenge for ecologists, economists, social scientists, agricultural engineers, environmentalists and other in order to develop and implement strong risk analysis frameworks and environmental impact assessments.
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