Invasive aquatic plants are non-native species that spread rapidly, threatening the diversity and abundance of native plant species as well as the ecological balance of lakes and ponds. And in addition to reducing the habitat quality for aquatic life, invasive species can limit recreational use of waterbodies for activities like boating, fishing and swimming. They can also pose serious health and safety risks.
Invasive species are aggressive and can be very difficult to control, which is why it is important to detect them early and begin a management program before they have a chance to dominate a system. There are several main categories of invasive aquatic plants: submerged, emergent, floating and wetlands.
Submerged plants grow under the surface of the water and can cause problems for boating, fishing and aquatic life because of their dense growth. Invasive submerged plants include (clockwise, from top left):
• Egeria (Brazilian Elodea)
• Curlyleaf Pondweed
• Eurasian Watermilfoil
• Variable Milfoil
Emergent plants grow in shallow water, with the majority of the plant standing upright above the water. They can dominate shallow waterbodies or wetland areas. Invasive emergent plants include (clockwise from top):
• Water Primrose
Floating plants may or may not have roots, have most of their leaves and plant tissue floating on top of the water, and can spread rapidly over the surface of a lake or pond. Invasive floating plants include (clockwise, from top left):
• Water Hyacinth
• Water Lettuce
• Giant Salvinia
• Water Chestnut
Wetlands are considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems and are vital filters for surrounding watersheds. Invasive species will often out-compete beneficial plants, though, which reduces existing native species and biodiversity in the wetlands. Invasive wetland plants include (clockwise, from top):
• Purple Loosestrife
• Common Buckthorn
If detected early, small scale selective treatments can be rapidly implemented to contain and eliminate the invasive species. Monitoring is also an important element to an effective invasive species management program. Regular inspections allow us to identify and control any nuisance plants before they have a chance to spread.
For large open areas or sites where land or boat based aquatic treatments are a challenge, we offer aerial application technologies for the treatment of invasive aquatic plants. Aerial applications are often much more efficient and cost-effective in these situations.
Invasive aquatic plants should be managed quickly and effectively by professionals. Controlling these harmful weeds will help restore balance to your aquatic ecosystem and create a safe environment for fishing, boating and swimming.
Contact a SOLitude Lake Management expert today at 888-480-LAKE (5253) to help you with your lake and pond weed control needs.
SOLitude Lake Management is committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Lake, pond and fisheries management services and consulting, and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at www.solitudelakemanagement.com.