Aquatic vegetation management to enhance multiple-user benefits of southeastern wetlands
Gary Ervin, lead PI
Gray Turnage, co-PI, MSU Geosystems Research Institute
Sam Schmid, doctoral student
Adrian Lazaro-Lobo (former doctoral student)
Our current work in this area, underway as part of Sam Schmid's dissertation research, is examining ecological interactions between the aquatic invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides (alligatorweed) and an introduced biocontrol agent, Amynothrips andersoni (alligatorweed thrips). The goal of that work is to determine whether there is potential to employ integrated control approaches for alligatorweed that combine this insect with known chemical control methods, to more efficiently manage this commonly abundant aquatic weed.
Earlier portions of this work were funded by the MS Water Resources Research Institute. In that work, we explored a variety of chemical control measures (herbicides) to reduce the abundance of key nuisance plant species, while maintaining diversity of desirable species and also minimizing any negative impacts on key water quality parameters (e.g., dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus).
The ultimate objectives of our work in this area is to discover methods to optimally control nuisance aquatic vegetation in wetland and aquatic habitats of areas like the nearby Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge (NNWR), while minimizing impacts on non-target vegetation and water quality.
Lázaro-Lobo, A. and G. N. Ervin. 2021. Wetland invasion: A multi-faceted challenge during a time of rapid global change. Wetlands 41:64 (Invited review).
Carter, C., J. D Madsen, and G. N. Ervin. 2018. Effects of initial propagule size and water depth on Butomus umbellatus L. growth and vegetative propagation. Aquatic Botany 150: 27-32.