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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Impacts of Aquatic Weeds in Water Use and Natural Systems

Author
item Spencer, David

Submitted to: Weed Science Society of California Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2003
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Citation: Spencer, D.F. 2004. Impacts of aquatic weeds in water use and natural systems. Weed Science Society of California Meeting Proceedings. 55: 32-36.

Interpretive Summary: Aquatic plants aid in stabilizing sediments and in binding nutrients, supplying dissolved organic matter into the water and entrapping organic material, and removing nitrate and other ions. Aquatic insects are often more diverse or abundant in beds of aquatic plants. Aquatic plants are often significant food sources for invertebrates, waterfowl, and some mammals and important habitats for fish. Excessive growth can have detrimental effects as well including, preventing or restricting recreational activities, boating, fishing, and swimming, presenting hazards due to entanglement or slippery areas caused by algal films, causing foul taste and odors of drinking water supplies, causing stunting of fish populations and "fish kills" due to decomposition, blocking flow in irrigation and drainage systems, causing water loss due to evapotranspiration, catching debris and sediment hastening the filling in of water bodies, preventing navigation of waterways, providing habitat for disease vectors such as mosquitoes and snails, releasing toxins into the water, lowering aesthetic appeal of waterfront property reducing its value, excluding native plant species, reducing access of wildlife to wetland areas, causing monetary losses due to control efforts.

Technical Abstract: Aquatic plants aid in stabilizing sediments and in binding nutrients, supplying dissolved organic matter into the water and entrapping organic material, and removing nitrate and other ions. Aquatic insects are often more diverse or abundant in beds of aquatic plants. Aquatic plants are often significant food sources for invertebrates, waterfowl, and some mammals and important habitats for fish. Excessive growth can have detrimental effects as well including, preventing or restricting recreational activities, boating, fishing, and swimming, presenting hazards due to entanglement or slippery areas caused by algal films, causing foul taste and odors of drinking water supplies, causing stunting of fish populations and "fish kills" due to decomposition, blocking flow in irrigation and drainage systems, causing water loss due to evapotranspiration, catching debris and sediment hastening the filling in of water bodies, preventing navigation of waterways, providing habitat for disease vectors such as mosquitoes and snails, releasing toxins into the water, lowering aesthetic appeal of waterfront property reducing its value, excluding native plant species, reducing access of wildlife to wetland areas, causing monetary losses due to control efforts.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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