In the 1980s a new invasive species, known as the water hyacinth, was introduced to Lake Victoria. This exotic plant was able to successfully plant its roots in its new home and thus the population of water hyacinth sky rocketed. In order to combat this alien vegetation, the weevil, which feeds on the hyacinth, was introduced into the area.
By 1998 a significant decrease in the hyacinth population was observed. Based on this information one could easily conclude that the weevils seemed to be responsible for the eradication of the water hyacinth. That is the opinion of John R.U Wilson et al. (2007), who in his scientific article, published in the journal Aquatic Botany, expressed his firm belief that the weevil was the main factor contributing to the decline of the hyacinth. However, for Adrian E. Williams, this conclusion was not as cut in stone as it appeared to be. In Williams’ et al. (2007) article published in the journal, Aquatic Botany, he attributes the rapid decline of the hyacinth population in 1998 to the presence of an El Niño (a climate pattern exhibiting high pressure, warmer temperatures, and extreme weather.) Both Williams and Wilson illustrate their opinions through their analysis of a variety of experiments and collections of data however, Williams et al (2007) thoroughly considers Wilson’s data and draws significant attention to the population spikes that happened in the exact years of the El Niño event. In doing so, Williams et al(2007) presents a strong case for the impact of the El Niño that Wilson can do little to disparage.
In more recent years, an article titled “Water Hyacinth Reinvades Lake Victoria” was released by NASA which illustrated the reemergence of this invasive plant into the area despite the efforts of the weevil. This article seems to give more support to the argument made by Williams as well as indicating the possible need to find alternative methods of eradicating the water hyacinth from Lake Victoria.
While no answer currently exists to this debate, I believe that Williams does a better job of analyzing the spikes in both the growth and decline of the hyacinth population and illustrating their significance in correlation with the El Niño event that occurred in 1998. He explains that while the weevil has been successful at halting the exponential growth of the hyacinth, the extremely wet and cloudy conditions brought by the El Niño definitely had a colossal impact.
NASA Earth Observatory. 2007. Water Hyacinth Re-invades Lake Victoria.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=7426. Viewed 20 Jan 2010.
Williams, A. E., R. E. Hecky, and H. C. Duthie. 2007. Water hyacinth decline across Lake
Victoria – Was it caused by climatic perturbation or biological control? A reply. Aquatic
Wilson, J. R. U., O. Ajuonu, T. D. Center, M. P. Hill, M. H. Julien, F. F. Katagira, P.
Neuenschwander, S. W. Njoka, J. Ogwang, R. H. Reeder, and T. Van. 2007. The decline
of water hyacinth on Lake Victoria was due to biological control by Neochetina spp. Aquatic Botany 87:90-93.
In order to revise my SW3 post, I decided to utilize each of the three suggestions that I was given in the comment section of my blog. I agree with Cole who stated that I should switch around the order of my third and fourth paragraphs. Doing so seems to make the arguments presented in my paper connect in a more logical manner. I also tried to add in a few more details supporting why I believe Williams et al(2007) presented the stronger argument while also trying to stay within my word limit.
This is a very well-written commentary. Your argument manages to be both clear and concise. If I were to offer a suggestion in terms of organization, I’d switch the third and fourth paragraphs around; that way, you go through the progression (Williams, then Wilson, then NASA pictures) and finish with your thesis. You kind of have your thesis spread out over the last two paragraphs. I also agree that Williams et al. more effectively supported their findings with graphical data, but a big distinction is that the Williams et al. group only argued that the El Nino weather caused the hyacinth depression in 1998, whereas Wilson argued that the weevil is responsible for the 1999-2000 and subsequent depressions.
Your commentary on the water hyacinth was very well written. I agree that Williams et al. presents a better argument. However, one suggestion for improvement: showing a couple of examples of how Wilson and Williams present their data could help explain why Williams’ is more clear.
This was really well written, starting with your title. It really brought me in as a reader, and the supporting arguements you offered were very convicing. When I read the articles, I thought that Wilson offered a better argument, but the way you supported Williams ideas by using facts from the NASA article really fortified your belief. The only suggestion I can offer is to follow up the last sentence of your second paragraph with more details or examples of how they analyzed experiments. As it stands, the sentence alone seems a little random and out of place. But other than that, I believe this was really well written.