While many lakeshore owners perceive aquatic plants as nuisances, they are a natural part of most lakes and river ecosystems. They provide food and shelter for wildlife, improve water clarity by tying up nutrients, and stabilize shorelines.
Excessive growth of these plants due to high nutrient levels can interfere with recreational activities, diminish habitat value, reduce fish populations, and increase sedimentation rates.
The first step in managing aquatic vegetation is identification. Knowing what you have in your pond is important, as most control methods target specific plants with similar growth habits.
Aquatic plants are a natural part of the ecosystem, but excessive plant growth can cause problems for fish, wildlife, and humans. They can obstruct water flow, prevent recreational activities, reduce habitat value, degrade water quality, increase erosion rates, and lead to fish kills following large plant die-offs.
The desirability of aquatic vegetation varies with the use of a water body. Anglers may desire lily pads and plant beds to provide habitat for small fish, while swimmers want clean, clear water free of weeds. The best way to manage aquatic vegetation is to prevent a problem from occurring in the first place by using the best aquatic vegetation management practices in septic systems, yard fertilizing, and disposing of yard waste. These practices will limit the nutrients that enter and drain into a lake or pond, which are a primary cause of overgrowth.
Biological and chemical methods control aquatic vegetation by killing or delaying growth. Chemicals used to kill aquatic weeds are typically aimed at specific species or groups of plants with similar growth habits and structures. Therefore, identification is the first step in proper aquatic weed management.
Physical and chemical conditions that promote weed problems include bodies of clear, shallow water where sunlight cannot penetrate to the bottom and high levels of plant nutrients. In addition, most exotic aquatic weeds are prolific reproducers and spread easily through wildlife, boats, and equipment.
Prevention is the best form of control. Ponds constructed with limited shallow areas and steep-sided ponds with depths of 3:1 or more usually do not develop overabundant weeds. Limiting cattle access to ponds also helps prevent excessive aquatic weeds.
Plants are a natural component of lake ecosystems, providing dissolved oxygen and food for fish and other aquatic species. They also provide cover and spawning habitat, prevent erosion, stabilize shorelines, and aid water circulation in areas choked by vegetation. However, when weeds are overabundant in a lake, they can block boating and fishing access, increase sedimentation, and degrade recreational activities.
Nutrients that flow into ponds from livestock feedlots, septic systems, and residential yards are often the primary cause of excessive aquatic vegetation. Management of nutrient inputs by implementing best management practices for lawn care, agriculture, and forestry will help reduce the load in a lake or reservoir and control weed growth.
Chemical control of weeds is often used when no other methods are successful. These methods use chemicals to alter a plant’s ability to grow or reproduce and can effectively manage problematic plants. However, a treatment method’s success depends on the weed problem’s type and severity.
In aquatic plant management, restoration focuses on returning natural areas to a more pristine state and preventing harmful human impacts. This is accomplished by identifying and encouraging desirable plants while managing and controlling undesirable ones.
Aquatic vegetation is an important component of any lake ecosystem. It serves several functions: Providing food for fish, waterfowl, and other wildlife, stabilizing shorelines, supplying oxygen to the water, and absorbing nutrients from runoff. Excessive plant growth interferes with recreational activities and has a negative impact on the beauty and ecology of lakes.
Nutrient enrichment often causes the growth of unwanted plants in ponds and lakes. Nutrients enter lakes from agricultural, forestry, and residential yard care activities. Using best management practices for home, farm, and garden fertilizing can help limit the loading of these nutrients to lakes and ponds. Also, reducing nutrient inputs through watershed management is crucial to maintaining healthy aquatic vegetation. This can be done through septic system maintenance, land-use planning, and promoting less toxic herbicides. Read more exciting articles on Today World Info