Category Archives: APMS Blog

The “Why” of Aquatic Plant Management – New Paper Covers Benefits of APM

9-2089413-tcn071113weeds2_t460What a busy week for the APMS!  We had a wonderful meeting over the past several days.  A meeting centered on research, extension, and industry, all focused on some aspect of the aquatic plant world.  Many of us have been in the “business” for years.  No matter who (research, industry, or education/outreach), what (aquatic management, biology, mapping, etc), or where (hydrilla in the southeast, EWM in the north, flowering rush in the west), its sometimes good to ask the WHY…. (more…)

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‘Tis the season of “Cyanos” – Identifying and Managing Summer’s Pesky Pond Problems

Photo Credit - Jamie Morgan

Photo Credit – Jamie Morgan

As temperatures start to rise and rainfall becomes less, summer is a great time to cool off at your local water body, be it swimming, water skiing, or fishing. However, summer also marks the season of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are often the dominant primary producers in ponds void of aquatic vegetation. They have the ability to fix nitrogen and regulate buoyancy, providing a clear advantage over desired species that fuel the food-chain such as diatoms and green algae. (more…)

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A Systematic Look at Fish Kills in Florida’s Lakes, Rivers, and Canals

Photo Credit - Florida FWC "Fish Buster's Bulletin"

Photo Credit – Florida FWC “Fish Buster’s Bulletin”

Nothing is more shocking to a resident, fisherman, or resource manager, than to discover hundreds (or even thousands) of dead fish in the waters in which the recreate or work.  While rare, “fish kills” do happen annually in various ponds, lakes, and rivers across the country. (more…)

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APMS supported research investigates habitat level relationships with turtles, susceptibility to deadly disease

The APMS supports a great deal of student research through it’s many National and Regional research scholarships and awards.  One such award offered is the Philip M. Fields Scholarship, provided by the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society.  The scholarship is awarded to a student who is researching an area related to the biology, ecology or management of aquatic plants in the Southeastern region.  Applications are evaluated on the basis of relevant test scores (ACT, SAT, GRE, etc.), high school and/or college grades, quality and relevance of course work or research, a proposed budget, information obtained from references, and other related information.

Mercurio, the 2012 award recipient in the field.

Mercurio, the 2012 award recipient, in the field.


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Student Research Focuses on Hydrilla and AVM in Southeastern Reservoirs

AVM positive coot.  Photo Credit - UGA Wilde Lab

AVM positive coot. Photo Credit – UGA Wilde Lab

First documented at DeGray Lake, Arkansas in 1994, the neurologic disease Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy (AVM) has been implicated in numerous deaths among waterbirds and their avian predators.  Currently, the disease has been confirmed in six species of waterfowl, two bird of prey species and one shorebird.  A trend in deaths of the affected species has been noticed in the fall/winter seasons of various southeastern reservoirs. One particular reservoir on the Georgia – South Carolina Border has seen some of the greatest numbers of deaths across water bodies affected.  (more…)

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New Treatment Options for Duckweed Provide Alternatives for Landowners, Research Says



If you own a pond in the southeast, you have likely run into problems with duckweed.  While the plants do serve several benefits such as bioremediation and biofuel production, nuisance populations can cause negative impacts as well.    Although individual plants are among the smallest in the world, duckweed colonies can spell big headaches for landowners, clogging irrigation intakes, impeding navigation, and causing fluctuations to dissolved oxygen that can spell disaster for aquatic life.  While these plants don’t usually cause problems in large, public water bodies, they can be a major nuisance to backyard and agricultural ponds as well as water gardens.  Control of these minute plants can present many challenges as the small size and staggering reproductive ability of duckweed makes it almost impossible to remove all plants from a system. (more…)

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Differentiation of submersed aquatic plants may be more than meets the eye…

Successful aquatic plant management can be broken down into three main components: 1) Identify, survey, and quantify, 2.) exert management and 3).  assess the efficacy of management efforts.  Arguably the most important part of a successful aquatic plant management plan is the accurate identification and quantification of the species of interest.  More often than not, surveys of submersed aquatic plants require extensive, time-consuming survey to get an adequate “picture” of what lies beneath the surface. (more…)

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Management of Hydrilla Dependant on Biotype, Experts Say

Homeowners, boaters, fisherman, and other recreational users deal with a familiar looking problem weed in water bodies from Florida to Maine.  A resident on a lake in New York State would likely call the whirled leafed invader the same as a farmer in the bayou.  Hydrilla,  a nasty invader throughout many water bodies of the United States may look similar across state lines, but researchers with the Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility in Lewisville, TX show just how different the plant, and it’s subsequent management can be from one state to the next.Hydrilla vertcillata.  Photo Credit:  NCSU AWP


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Blast from the Past – Traveling 50 Years Back in Aquatic Plant Management

1940 mechanical_jpg

Mechanical harvesting of Hyacinth 1939
Photo Credit – UF-IFAS-CAIP

Aquatic plant science and management in today’s world is one of the most complex and diverse disciplines in which to work or study.  Focus on identifying, quantifying, actively managing, or even restoring aquatic plants are common goals. The individuals and companies charged with achieving these goals are, as they have been for decades, racing to keep the science ahead of ever increasing invasions and infestations of non-native species, degradation of native habitat, and keeping harmony among stakeholders in multi-use systems.  Working in aquatic plant management today  can be an extremely frustrating, yet rewarding career choice ; a choice that many who read this blog have made or are in the process of making (for those still contemplating, see “Why a career in aquatic plant management“).  We are an ever evolving science where the sky is truly the limit.  In this week’s blog, lets try to gain some prospective of just how far we have come. (more…)

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Simulating an Invasion! Scientists take a look at overland transport of Eurasian watermilfoil

ewm frags

EWM fragments. Photo Credit: Brett Hartis

The word “invasion” strikes fear in the minds of many, envisioning occupation by foreign entities bent on plunder and destruction.  An invasion, in fact, is the aggressive entry of an outside force to occupy the space of another.  In aquatic systems of the northern United States, Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) fits the bill of an invader to a T.



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