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  • Water Hyacinth

    Lori Moshman Department of Entomology, LSU AgCenter

    ASWM Invasive Species Webinar November 30, 2017

    Agriculture Victoria

  • Overview

    Water hyacinth biology and identification History and spread Current impacts Effective control methods Biological control Case studies Future outlook and recommendations

    ELAW

  • Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes)

    NCSU TurfCenter L.J. Mehrhoff

    J.H. Kirkbride, GoBotany

  • Water hyacinth may be confused with natives

    Center et al. 2002. In Van Driesche, R., et al., 2002. Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the Eastern United States

    Frogbit, Limnobium spongia

    S.L. Winterton

    Pickerelweed, Pontederia cordata

    K. Yatskievych

    Heteranthera reniformis

  • Identification

    Look for: Bulbous base Fleshy stems Dark roots Leaf shape

    Mat-forming History of known infestation

    P. Chadwick/DK Images

    Landcare SJ

  • Water hyacinth has high phenotypic plasticity

    Brisbane City Council IUCN/Geoffrey Howard

  • Source: UNEP/DEWA 2013

    1884

  • Current U.S. distribution

    Source: EDDMapS 2017

  • AsiaNews

    DRBC

    Ecological and environmental impacts

  • Management strategies

    Mechanical Chemical Biological

    G. Lovell/Outdoor Alabama

  • Management strategies: Mechanical

    Pros: Immediate gratification

    Cons: Hard to dispose of material Increases plant fragmentation Heavy use of labor and fuel Cant keep up with growth rate Cant reach areas with limited

    access

    May be appropriate for small infestations

  • Management strategies: Chemical

    Pros: Immediate gratification Easier than mechanical removal

    Cons: Negative environmental effects Cant reach areas with limited

    access Expensive

    California State Parks

    Appropriate where immediate results are needed or as an integrated approach

  • Management strategies: Biological Pros: Works passively Host-specific Suppresses plant vigor

    Cons: Control can take years Monitoring and re-releases

    required Success limited in temperate

    climates Katherine Parys

    Appropriate for large and recurrent infestations

  • Biological control agents in the U.S.

    G. Strickland

    Neochetina eichorniae Neochetina bruchi

    S. Marcus

    Niphograpta albiguttalis Megamelus scutellaris

  • Waterhyacinth weevils (Neochetina spp.)

    First released in Florida in 1972

    N. bruchi prefer older leaves and N. eichhorniae prefer younger leaves

    Feeding activity is complementary: better with both species present

    Control possible in 3-5 years

    Coetzee et al. 2009. In Muniappan, R., et al., 2009. Biological Control of Tropical Weeds using Arthropods.

  • Waterhyacinth moth (Niphograpta albiguttalis)

    First released in Florida in 1976

    Established throughout gulf coast states

    Feeding does not directly kill plants, but slows growth and encourages secondary pathogens

    Larvae prefer smaller, bulbous plants

    Coetzee et al. 2009. In Muniappan, R., et al., 2009. Biological Control of Tropical Weeds using Arthropods.

  • Waterhyacinth planthopper (Megamelus scutellaris)

    First released in Florida in 2010

    Nymphs and adults feed on all leaf surfaces

    Winged and wingless forms exist

    Impact on infestations is still being studied

    UF/IFAS Featured Creatures http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/bugs/Megamelus_scutellaris.htm

    P. Tipping

    P. Tipping

  • Case study: LSU Crest Lake, Baton Rouge

    S. Moshman

  • Case study: LSU Crest Lake, Baton Rouge

  • Case study: LSU Crest Lake, Baton Rouge

    Outcome: Several mechanical and chemical

    control efforts were made to reduce the spread of water hyacinth in the lake

    Regular monitoring and early action are the best ways to prevent excessive growth

  • Control programs are best tailored to fit specific needs

    Factors to consider: Prevention and early action Climate/ecoregion Severity of the infestation Available personnel Land use restrictions

  • Despite invasiveness, water hyacinth is still valued

    Aquatic plant product trade

    Aquaria, ponds, koi gardens

  • and continues to spread

    John Pontier NYSDEQ walmart.com

  • Water hyacinth is part of a complex of invasive floating aquatic plants

    Water lettuce, Pistia stratiotes Giant salvinia, Salvinia molesta Water hyacinth, Eichornia crassipes

  • Future outlook

    Integrated strategies may be needed for long-term control

    Climate change will affect the rate of spread and efficacy of control

    Monitoring is essential; early spring action is most effective

    Mass rearing operations can help fill the need for biocontrol agents

    Water Hyacinth OverviewWater hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes)Water hyacinth may be confused with nativesIdentificationWater hyacinth has high phenotypic plasticitySlide Number 7Current U.S. distributionEcological and environmental impactsManagement strategiesManagement strategies: MechanicalManagement strategies: ChemicalManagement strategies: BiologicalBiological control agents in the U.S.Waterhyacinth weevils (Neochetina spp.)Waterhyacinth moth (Niphograpta albiguttalis)Waterhyacinth planthopper (Megamelus scutellaris)Case study: LSU Crest Lake, Baton RougeCase study: LSU Crest Lake, Baton RougeCase study: LSU Crest Lake, Baton RougeControl programs are best tailored to fit specific needsDespite invasiveness, water hyacinth is still valuedand continues to spreadWater hyacinth is part of a complex of invasive floating aquatic plantsFuture outlook

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