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Open AccessArticle

The Establishment and Rapid Spread of Sagittaria Platyphylla in South Africa

1
Centre for Biological Control, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
2
South African National Biodiversity Institute, KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium, Berea Road, Durban, P.O. Box 52099, Durban 4007, South Africa
3
Centre for Biological Control, Department of Botany, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(5), 1472; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051472
Received: 25 February 2020 / Revised: 2 April 2020 / Accepted: 4 April 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
Sagittaria platyphylla Engelm. (Alismataceae) is a freshwater aquatic macrophyte that has become an important invasive weed in freshwater systems in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and recently China. In South Africa, due to its rapid increase in distribution and ineffective control options, it is recognised as one of the country’s worst invasive aquatic alien plants. In this paper, we investigate the spread of the plant since its first detection in 2008, and the management strategies currently carried out against it. Despite early detection and rapid response programmes, which included chemical and mechanical control measures, the plant was able to spread both within and between sites, increasing from just one site in 2008 to 72 by 2019. Once introduced into a lotic system, the plant was able to spread rapidly, in some cases up to 120 km within 6 years, with an average of 10 km per year. The plant was successfully extirpated at some sites, however, due to the failure of chemical and mechanical control, biological control is currently being considered as a potential control option. View Full-Text
Keywords: freshwater macrophyte; invasive species; mechanical and chemical control; biological control freshwater macrophyte; invasive species; mechanical and chemical control; biological control
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ndlovu, M.S.; Coetzee, J.A.; Nxumalo, M.M.; Lalla, R.; Shabalala, N.; Martin, G.D. The Establishment and Rapid Spread of Sagittaria Platyphylla in South Africa. Water 2020, 12, 1472.

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