Weed science Society of America Logo


WSSA Highlights Upcoming Conference On Invasive Aquatic Plants

Scientists, educators, public officials and others interested in the management of invasive aquatic plants are gathering this month for the annual meeting of the Aquatic Plant Management Society (APMS).

The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) is an exhibitor at the event, scheduled for July 22-25 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

More than four dozen presentations are scheduled on invasive aquatic plants, their significant impact and effective ways to manage them. Examples of the sessions include:

  • Biology and Control of Crested Floating Heart. A native of Asia, crested floating heart (Nymphoides cristata) is becoming a significant problem across the Southeastern U.S. Leif Willey of the University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants will present study results showing how environmental factors influence the growth of the plant and make it so challenging to control.
  • Distribution and Management of Aquatic Invasive Plants in Montana. Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogenton crispus) and flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) are non-native aquatic plants classified as noxious weeds in Montana. Speaker Celestine Duncan of Weed Management Services will spotlight the work of a state task force formed in 2007 to address the invaders.
  • Factors that Influence Rapid Expansion of Hydrilla and the Implications for Management. Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) is an invasive aquatic plant that covers thousands of acres of formerly open water in lakes and reservoirs, especially across Florida. Michael Netherland of the U.S. Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center will share results from a study evaluating seasonal growth patterns for hydrilla under various environmental conditions and the implications for control techniques.
  • Idaho’s Aquatics Program. Thomas Woolf of the Idaho Department of Agriculture will discuss the state’s aquatic plant management program, which was launched in earnest in 2006 to stamp out Eurasian watermilfoil. Significant reductions in milfoil have been observed statewide as a result of the program. But now hydrilla, flowering rush and other species have become even bigger threats to the waters of the region. The state has continued its control efforts despite tough economic times, with federal partners stepping up to help.
  • ‘Grass Carp’ Feeding Preferences for Two Invasive Aquatic Plants. Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta) and hygrophila (Hygrophila polysperma) have invaded Texas waters, and both are real troublemakers. Giant salvinia can double the space it occupies in a single week — displacing native aquatic plants that provide food and habitat for invertebrates and fish. Hygrophila is also fast growing and represents a similar threat to native species. Michael Neisch of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service at Texas A&M University will share research on the use of triploid grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) as a biological control agent for these two aquatic invaders.

“Aquatic weeds can have a profound impact on our communities,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., science policy director for the Weed Science Society of America. “They can clog flood control channels, impair water supplies, and endanger commerce, recreation and tourism. We applaud the work of APMS to promote awareness and to share information on effective management techniques.”

For more information on the APMS annual meeting, visit www.apms.org.

About the Aquatic Plant Management Society:
The Aquatic Plant Management Society is an international organization of scientists, educators, students, commercial pesticide applicators, administrators and concerned individuals interested in the management and study of aquatic plants. The objectives of the Society are to assist in promoting the management of nuisance aquatic plants, to provide for the scientific advancement of members of the society, to encourage scientific research, to promote university scholarship, and to extend and develop public interest in the aquatic plant science discipline. For more information, visit www.apms.org.

About the Weed Science Society of America:
The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Weed Science Society of America promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world. For more information, visit www.wssa.net.