Alligatorweed Biology Ecology and Management
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Alligatorweed Biology Ecology and Management

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Presentation on the invasive plant Alligatorweed.

Presentation on the invasive plant Alligatorweed.

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    Alligatorweed Biology Ecology and Management Alligatorweed Biology Ecology and Management Presentation Transcript

    • Ryan M. Wersal, Ph.D. Mississippi State University Geosystems Research InstituteMissouri Department of Conservation Invasive Plant WorkshopPowder Valley Nature Center, Kirkwood, MO May 16th and 17th
    • Benefits of Aquatic Plants Stabilize lake sediments, reduce resuspension Increase sedimentation, reduce turbidity Provide habitat for insects, forage fish, fish spawning and YOY fish Provide food for waterfowl, other animals
    • Non-native vs. Native Community Myriophyllum spicatum Vallisneria americana Eurasian watermilfoil Water celery
    • Canopy Structure
    • Alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) Emergent perennial native to South America (Vogt et al. 1979) Nuisance aquatic species in over 32 countries worldwide (Gunasekera and Bonila 2001) Major problem in Southern U.S. aquatic and riparian areas (Kay and Haller 1982) Hollow stems form extensive, dense mats on water surface (Kay and Haller 1982) Impedes boat traffic, increases flood risk, clogs irrigation canals, harbors pathogen-carrying insects, reduces overall water quality and property value (Madsen 2004)
    • Alligatorweed distribution in theUnited States by Hydrologic Units
    • Alligatorweed distribution in the MidSouth Region
    • Alligatorweed Habitat Nuisance in subtropical aquatic and wetland areas, can be rooted in submersed to moist soil, especially ditch and stream habitats, forms floating mats  Major problem in the Ross Barnett Reservoir and MS Delta  Potentially has two biotypes Ross Barnett Reservoir, MS
    • Alligatorweed ID Non-native emergent perennial plant Emergent or submersed Stems form a tangled mass Leaves simple and opposite on stems Leaves elliptical Typically glabrous (very little if any hair)
    • Alligatorweed ID Several-flowered whitish head Flowers borne in leaf axils Flowers always on stalks up to 2 inches in length Mature seeds not known to occur Spread via vegetative growth and fragmentation
    • Alligatorweed ID Key identifying characteristic:  Stems almost always hollow
    • Can Be Confused With: Sessile joyweed (Alternanthera sessilis)  Not widespread Ludwigia spp. StarrImages Kim Starr
    • Ecological Impacts Degradation of water quality Reduction in species diversity Suppresses native plant species Potential impacts on endangered species Alters animal communities
    • Lake Jackson, MS Blue Lake, MSLittle Eagle Lake, MS Blue Lake, MS
    • Human Use Impacts Reduces access to water Reduces property values Limits recreation Impedes navigation Increases flood duration & intensity Lake Jackson, MS Human health Alligatorweed
    • Management Options Biological Chemical Mechanical Physical Institutional
    • Alligatorweed ManagementBiological Alligatorweed flea beetle Stem borer mothChemical 2,4-D, triclopyr, imazapyr, glyphosateMechanical - NonePhysical - None
    • Biological Control Alligatorweed flea beetle (Agasicles hygrophila) Works well south of Vicksburg-Jackson- Montgomery (I-20 corridor)
    • Biological Control Stem borer moth (Vogtia malloi) Active throughout MS May be more of an option for Missouri than flea beetle due to (Photograph courtesy USDA, ARS by Willey C. Durden.) climate Typically not present near agricultural areas where insecticides are used (Photograph courtesy USDA, ARS)
    • Small Scale Trials Imazapyr, triclopyr, glyphosate (DIA salt and IPA salt), imazamox, 2,4-D, diquat (maximum label rate), and penoxsulam (maximum label rate) offered similar effective control for 12 weeks Carfentrazone and diquat provided rapid biomass reduction but regrowth began within days after application
    • Field Control Imazapyr, 1 to 4 pints/acre Triclopyr, 3 to 8 quarts/acre 2,4-D, 2 quarts/acre Glyphosate, 2 quarts/acre Non-ionic surfactant, 1 pint/acre In Mississippi, 2,4-D and glyphosate are being used alone or as a tank mixAlways read the herbicide label
    • Hobbs and Humphries 1995. Conserv. Biol. 9:761-770.
    • Other ResourcesUNIVERSITY PROFESSIONAL SOCIETYCenter for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Aquatic Plant Management Society aquat1.ifas.ufl.edu www.apms.orgMississippi State University GRI North American Lake Management Society www.gri.msstate.edu www.nalms.orgMSU Extension Service GOVERNMENT msucares.com/pubs/publications/p1532aquat Aquatic Plant Control Research Program ic.pdf www.wes.army.mil/el/aqua/aqua.html USGS Aquatic Nonindigenous Species SiteFOUNDATION nas.er.usgs.govAquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation www.aquatics.org
    • Ryan Wersal, Ph.D.Geosystems Research InstituteBox 9652Mississippi State, MS 39762Ph (662) 325-4595Fax (662) 325-7692rwersal@gri.msstate.edu