Main Article Content
Purpose: Wetlands are assets in the country, and they help make cities lockable and attractive. The study aims to assess the spread of alien invasive plants that affect the wetlands and construct a policy framework that could be used to preserve and conserve groundwater resources (Wetlands) in urban areas of Mpumalanga Province, specifically White River. This research will answer why alien invasives are a threat to wetlands.
Methodology: The study was conducted in White River on Longtom Street. A single observer conducted fixed-width line transect surveys to investigate species richness and abundance for all the untreated species detected next to the wetland. Three transects per habitat type were visited twice through twice per week.
Main Findings: During the survey, seven different alien invasive species were observed. The leading species was Solanum mauritianum, followed by Chromolaena odorata species; the third most dominant species was Lantana camara and Tecoma stans. Most species observed were illegally dumped by the residents that stay closer to the wetland, and no awareness, information, and training about the importance of wetlands were provided to the residents.
Implications: The framework can do more to help local communities manage urban wetlands, identifying opportunities for mapping and functional assessment to improve restoration and protection efforts. It can facilitate research and peer-to-peer exchange on innovative funding and financing methods for nature-based projects.
Novelty: Findings and recommendations resulting from this study will be summarized into a strategic guide by the end of 2023. It is recommended that all alien invasive plants in the wetland be eradicated. Wetlands must be protected to improve human health and well-being.
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