TREATING THE ALASKAN ELODEA INVASION WITH FLURIDONE MAY FURTHER ALTER WATER CHEMISTRY
Elodea canadensis is an invasive submerged plant introduced to Alaska from the continental US and Canada, likely from the aquarium trade. Previous studies found Elodea increases turbidity and sedimentation and releases nutrients as it decomposes. The best option for eradication is currently application of herbicides, as Elodea can reproduce from fragments. The herbicide fluridone increases the senescence of aquatic plants, thereby increasing nutrients and organic matter available to the ponds and driving heterotrophic activity. The USDA Forest Service is trialing fluridone in a study of five ponds in the Copper River Delta in southcentral Alaska. We monitored water and sediment chemistry from May-October 2018 in one pond with no Elodea invasion, three ponds with Elodea, and one pond with Elodea that was treated with fluridone. Preliminary results indicate seasonal fluxes in nutrients are related to vegetation species. The treated pond displayed lower pH and dissolved oxygen, and higher conductivity compared to untreated and uninvaded ponds. Untreated invaded ponds had more sediment AFDM, but no differences in dissolved organic carbon, total nitrogen, or water-column chlorophyll-a. This ongoing study furthers our understanding of the effects of the Elodea invasion and herbicide treatments.
Natalie Levesque (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Notre Dame, email@example.com;
Theresa Tanner (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USDA Forest Service, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Gary Lamberti (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Notre Dame, email@example.com;