Biological control of aquatic plants in the Laguna del Ojo

El control biológico de macrófitas en la Laguna del Ojo


The Laguna del Ojo is located in the Pampean plain, San Vicente Municipality, Buenos Aires Province. Since 2009, it has been invaded by water hyacinth, endangering the lagoon’s cultural, recreational and tourist value, as well as the ecosystem services it provides as a natural reservoir of the biodiversity of the region’s lagoon system in the Pampas.

The rapid growing and coverage of water hyacinth on the lake increased from 1 to more than 25 ha in two years. This invasion directly affected society and fundamentally the biodiversity of the system. A multi-stakeholder control strategy has been launched, where the main lines of action are to investigate, in order to transfer and apply know-how and raise awareness through community engagement. The use of integrated management (biological and mechanical) consists of establishing the massive breeding of the insects.

Students and teachers of the Agrarian School No. 1 are in charge of the small mass-rearing facility, and are supervised by FuEDEI’s researchers. Insects are released in the lake in periodic activities. Biological Weed Control is now an optional subject at school, through professionalizing practices, where students not only learn concepts about environmental education but are also actors and promoters of a solution for their community and the transference of acquired knowledge. Furthermore, the project was declared of Cultural, Scientific and Legislative Interest by the Municipality of San Vicente and more recently by Buenos Aires Province authorities.

Alejandro Sosa, Tomás Righetti, Ana Faltlhauser, Mariel Guala, Guillermo Cabrera Walsh, M. Cristina Hernández, Fernando Mc Kay, Marina Oleiro

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)
Municipalidad de San Vicente
Martin P. Hill y J. Coetzee, Rhodes Univ., Sudáfrica.