Factors Affecting The Biodiversity Of The Lake

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Many lakes across the globe are home to a wide variety of organisms, which are supported by both the lakes themselves and by the abundance of varying habitats surrounding them. Lake Naivasha (0°45’N, 36°20’E) is one such lake: Situated within the rift valley, Lake Naivasha is a freshwater home to an abundance of both native and alien flora and fauna, both aquatic and terrestrial (Otiang’a-Owiti & Oswe, 2007). The lake has 3 main surface inflows; from the Malewa, Gilgil and Karati rivers, but is an endorheic lake (Otiang’a-Owiti & Oswe, 2007); so is a closed hydrological system on the surface (Figure 1). Nevertheless, it is thought that water from the lake does move southward underground, through volcanic rocks (Clarke et al., 1990, Ojiambo et al., 2001). There are various factors that contribute to the biodiversity of the lake; however one the most predominant factors is the impact that the steep increase in Naivasha’s population has had on the lake. 70% of Kenya’s horticultural output is produced in the Lake Naivasha area (Otiang’a-Owiti & Oswe, 2007), which makes it an area of extreme national economic importance. Due to this thriving industry, the lake’s population has risen from an estimated 7,000 in the 1969, to approximately 300,000 in 2007 (Ouma Oloo, 2007). This rapid population growth has had effects on many components of the ecosystem, including changes in lake levels and water composition, loss of habitats, introduction of alien species and decline in many species

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