Special Issue "Ecology of Invasive Aquatic Plants"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Raymond Newman
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
Interests: aquatic ecology, invasive species, ecology and management of aquatic macrophytes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Invasive aquatic plants are a global problem, presenting one of the major threats to freshwater biodiversity, altering water quality, causing substantial economic harm, and impairing human use and aesthetics. The development of effective strategies to prevent introductions, limit spread, and to control established invasives requires an understanding of the ecology of these invasive species, and the factors that limit and promote their success. Although there have been recent collections of articles that address aquatic invasive species, the ecology of aquatic macrophytes, or the management of aquatic weeds, there has not been a collection that focuses on the ecology of invasive aquatic plants.  This Special Issue will provide a forum to present new and synthetic research on the ecology of invasive macrophytes. Topics of interest include the factors that influence or determine spread and establishment, invasiveness, habitat suitability or invasibility, competition with native aquatic plants, and biotic and abiotic factors that limit the success of introduced aquatic macrophytes. Scales of interest can range from local to global, physiological ecology to community and ecosystem interactions, or invasions genetics and evolution of invasiveness. Papers that address the control and management of aquatic invasive plants are also welcome, if they provide or utilize new ecological insights or principles.

Prof. Raymond Newman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Keywords

  • Aquatic macrophytes
  • Invasive aquatic plants
  • Littoral zone ecology
  • Invasion biology
  • Community ecology
  • Physiological ecology
  • Non-indigenous plants
  • Introduced invasive alien aquatic plants (IAAPs)
  • Exotic species
  • Freshwater
  • Biotic resistance
  • Propagule pressure
  • Diversity
  • Competition
  • Predation
  • Invasion genetics

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Prioritizing Management of Non-Native Eurasian Watermilfoil Using Species Occurrence and Abundance Predictions
Diversity 2020, 12(10), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12100394 - 13 Oct 2020
Abstract
Prioritizing the prevention and control of non-native invasive species requires understanding where introductions are likely to occur and cause harm. We developed predictive models for Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) occurrence and abundance to produce a smart prioritization tool for EWM [...] Read more.
Prioritizing the prevention and control of non-native invasive species requires understanding where introductions are likely to occur and cause harm. We developed predictive models for Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) occurrence and abundance to produce a smart prioritization tool for EWM management. We used generalized linear models (GLMs) to predict species occurrence and extended beta regression models to predict abundance from data collected on 657 Wisconsin lakes. Species occurrence was positively related to the nearby density of vehicle roads, maximum air temperature, lake surface area, and maximum lake depth. Species occurrence was negatively related to near-surface lithological calcium oxide content, annual air temperature range, and average distance to all known source populations. EWM abundance was positively associated with conductivity, maximum air temperature, mean distance to source, and soil erodibility, and negatively related to % surface rock calcium oxide content and annual temperature range. We extended the models to generate occurrence and predictions for all lakes in Wisconsin greater than 1 ha (N = 9825), then prioritized prevention and management, placing highest priority on lakes likely to experience EWM introductions and support abundant populations. This modelling effort revealed that, although EWM has been present for several decades, many lakes are still vulnerable to introduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Invasive Aquatic Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Biological Control of Salvinia molesta (D.S. Mitchell) Drives Aquatic Ecosystem Recovery
Diversity 2020, 12(5), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12050204 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Salvinia molesta D.S. Mitchell (Salviniaceae) is a damaging free-floating invasive alien macrophyte native to South America. The biological control programme against S. molesta by the weevil Cyrtobagous salviniae Calder and Sands (Erirhinidae) has been successful in controlling S. molesta infestations in the introduced [...] Read more.
Salvinia molesta D.S. Mitchell (Salviniaceae) is a damaging free-floating invasive alien macrophyte native to South America. The biological control programme against S. molesta by the weevil Cyrtobagous salviniae Calder and Sands (Erirhinidae) has been successful in controlling S. molesta infestations in the introduced range, however, there is some debate as to how biological control success is measured. This study measured the response of epilithic algae and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in a S. molesta-dominated state and subsequently where the weed had been cleared by biological control, as a proxy for ecosystem recovery in a before–after control–impact mesocosm experiment. The restored treatment (S. molesta and C. salviniae) demonstrated epilithic algae and aquatic macroinvertebrate recovery during the “after” biological control phase, defined as similar to the control treatment. Comparatively, the impacted treatment (100% S. molesta) showed a drastic decline in biodiversity and shifts in community assemblages. We conclude that the biological control effort by C. salviniae facilitated biodiversity recovery of the impacted treatment. Furthermore, epilithic algae and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities were reliable biological indicators for measuring ecological impacts of invasion and ecosystem recovery following biological control, and thus represent potential tools for evaluating biological control success and ecological restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Invasive Aquatic Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Niche Models Differentiate Potential Impacts of Two Aquatic Invasive Plant Species on Native Macrophytes
Diversity 2020, 12(4), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12040162 - 23 Apr 2020
Abstract
Potamogeton crispus (curlyleaf pondweed) and Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian watermilfoil) are widely thought to competitively displace native macrophytes in North America. However, their perceived competitive superiority has not been comprehensively evaluated. Coexistence theory suggests that invader displacement of native species through competitive exclusion is [...] Read more.
Potamogeton crispus (curlyleaf pondweed) and Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian watermilfoil) are widely thought to competitively displace native macrophytes in North America. However, their perceived competitive superiority has not been comprehensively evaluated. Coexistence theory suggests that invader displacement of native species through competitive exclusion is most likely where high niche overlap results in competition for limiting resources. Thus, evaluation of niche similarity can serve as a starting point for predicting the likelihood of invaders having direct competitive impacts on resident species. Across two environmental gradients structuring macrophyte communities—water depth and light availability—both P. crispus and M. spicatum are thought to occupy broad niches. For a third dimension, phenology, the annual growth cycle of M. spicatum is typical of other species, whereas the winter-ephemeral phenology of P. crispus may impart greater niche differentiation and thus lower risk of native species being competitively excluded. Using an unprecedented dataset comprising 3404 plant surveys from Minnesota collected using a common protocol, we modeled niches of 34 species using a probabilistic niche framework. Across each niche dimension, P. crispus had lower overlap with native species than did M. spicatum; this was driven in particular by its distinct phenology. These results suggest that patterns of dominance seen in P. crispus and M. spicatum have likely arisen through different mechanisms, and that direct competition with native species is less likely for P. crispus than M. spicatum. This research highlights the utility of fine-scale, abundance-based niche models for predicting invader impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Invasive Aquatic Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing the Distribution of Invasive Hybrid (Myriophyllum Spicatum x M. Sibiricum) Watermilfoil and Parental Taxa in Minnesota
Diversity 2020, 12(3), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12030120 - 24 Mar 2020
Abstract
Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) hybridizes with the native northern watermilfoil (M. sibiricum Kom.), which raises new issues regarding management strategies to control infestations. To determine the distribution of hybrid (and coincidentally Eurasian and northern) watermilfoil in Minnesota, we sampled lakes [...] Read more.
Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) hybridizes with the native northern watermilfoil (M. sibiricum Kom.), which raises new issues regarding management strategies to control infestations. To determine the distribution of hybrid (and coincidentally Eurasian and northern) watermilfoil in Minnesota, we sampled lakes across the state during 2017–2018 for watermilfoil. A total of 62 lakes were sampled, spanning a range of sizes and duration of invasion. Forty-three lakes contained Eurasian, 28 contained hybrid and 21 contained northern watermilfoil. Eurasian watermilfoil populations were widespread throughout the state. Hybrid populations were more commonly found in lakes in the seven county Twin Cities Metro and northern watermilfoil populations were more commonly found in lakes outside of the Metro area. We found no evidence that hybrid watermilfoil occurred in lakes environmentally different than those with Eurasian and northern watermilfoil, suggesting that hybrid watermilfoil is not associated with a unique niche. Hybrid watermilfoil presence was significantly associated with the Metro area, which may likely be due to spatial and temporal factors associated with hybrid formation and spread. Hybrid watermilfoil presence was also significantly associated with lakes that had more parking spaces and older infestations, but this relationship was not significant when the effect of region was considered. Hybrid watermilfoil populations were the result of both in situ hybridization and clonal spread and continued assessment is needed to determine if particularly invasive or herbicide-resistant genotypes develop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Invasive Aquatic Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Invasive Watermilfoil on Primary Production in Littoral Zones of North-Temperate Lakes
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020082 - 19 Feb 2020
Abstract
Species invasions are changing aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Submerged aquatic macrophytes control lake ecosystem processes through their direct and indirect interactions with other primary producers, but how these interactions may be altered by macrophyte species invasions in temperate lakes is poorly understood. We addressed [...] Read more.
Species invasions are changing aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Submerged aquatic macrophytes control lake ecosystem processes through their direct and indirect interactions with other primary producers, but how these interactions may be altered by macrophyte species invasions in temperate lakes is poorly understood. We addressed whether invasive watermilfoil (IWM) altered standing crops and gross primary production (GPP) of other littoral primary producers (macrophytes, phytoplankton, attached algae, and periphyton) in littoral zones of six Michigan lakes through a paired-plot comparison study of sites with IWM (standardized abundance 7–56%) compared to those with little or no IWM (standardized abundance 0–2%). We found that primary producer standing crops and the GPP of epiphytes, phytoplankton, and benthic periphyton were variable among lakes and not significantly different between paired study plots. Macrophyte standing crops predicted rates of benthic periphyton GPP, and standing crops of all other primary producers across all study plots. Overall, our results suggest that the effects of IWM on other primary producers in littoral zones may be lake-specific, and are likely dependent on the density of IWM, or whether it is functionally similar to other native species that it replaces or co-exists with. Moreover, in lakes where IWM is established but does not dominate macrophyte assemblages, the effects on littoral zone productivity may be minimal. Instead, overall macrophyte biomass is the primary factor controlling the rates of production and biomass of the other littoral zone primary producers, as has long been understood and observed in lake ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Invasive Aquatic Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Niche Complementarity and Resistance to Grazing Promote the Invasion Success of Sargassum horneri in North America
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020054 - 29 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Invasive species are a growing threat to conservation in marine ecosystems, yet we lack a predictive understanding of ecological factors that influence the invasiveness of exotic marine species. We used surveys and manipulative experiments to investigate how an exotic seaweed, Sargassum horneri, [...] Read more.
Invasive species are a growing threat to conservation in marine ecosystems, yet we lack a predictive understanding of ecological factors that influence the invasiveness of exotic marine species. We used surveys and manipulative experiments to investigate how an exotic seaweed, Sargassum horneri, interacts with native macroalgae and herbivores off the coast of California. We asked whether the invasion (i.e., the process by which an exotic species exhibits rapid population growth and spread in the novel environment) of S. horneri is influenced by three mechanisms known to affect the invasion of exotic plants on land: competition, niche complementarity and herbivory. We found that the removal of S. horneri over 3.5 years from experimental plots had little effect on the biomass or taxonomic richness of the native algal community. Differences between removal treatments were apparent only in spring at the end of the experiment when S. horneri biomass was substantially higher than in previous sampling periods. Surveys across a depth range of 0–30 m revealed inverse patterns in the biomass of S. horneri and native subcanopy-forming macroalgae, with S. horneri peaking at intermediate depths (5–20 m) while the aggregated biomass of native species was greatest at shallow (<5 m) and deeper (>20 m) depths. The biomass of S. horneri and native algae also displayed different seasonal trends, and removal of S. horneri from experimental plots indicated the seasonality of native algae was largely unaffected by fluctuations in S. horneri. Results from grazing assays and surveys showed that native herbivores favor native kelp over Sargassum as a food source, suggesting that reduced palatability may help promote the invasion of S. horneri. The complementary life histories of S. horneri and native algae suggest that competition between them is generally weak, and that niche complementarity and resistance to grazing are more important in promoting the invasion success of S. horneri. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Invasive Aquatic Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Competitive Interactions of Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus L.) Cytotypes in Submersed and Emergent Experimental Aquatic Plant Communities
Diversity 2020, 12(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12010040 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The ability to invade communities in a variety of habitats (e.g., along a depth gradient) may facilitate establishment and spread of invasive plants, but how multiple lineages of a species perform under varying conditions is understudied. A series of greenhouse common garden experiments [...] Read more.
The ability to invade communities in a variety of habitats (e.g., along a depth gradient) may facilitate establishment and spread of invasive plants, but how multiple lineages of a species perform under varying conditions is understudied. A series of greenhouse common garden experiments were conducted in which six diploid and four triploid populations of the aquatic invasive plant Butomus umbellatus L. (Butomaceae) were grown in submersed or emergent conditions, in monoculture or in a multispecies community, to compare establishment and productivity of cytotypes under competition. Diploid biomass overall was 12 times higher than triploids in the submersed experiment and three times higher in the emergent experiment. Diploid shoot:root ratio was double that of triploid plants in submersed conditions overall, and double in emergent conditions in monoculture. Relative interaction intensities (RII) indicated that triploid plants were sixteen times more negatively impacted by competition under submersed conditions but diploid plants were twice as impacted under emergent conditions. Recipient communities were similarly negatively impacted by B. umbellatus cytotypes. This study supports the idea that diploid and triploid B. umbellatus plants are equally capable of invading emergent communities, but that diploid plants may be better adapted for invading in submersed habitats. However, consistently lower shoot:root ratios in both monoculture and in communities suggests that triploid plants may be better-adapted competitors in the long term due to increased resource allocation to roots. This represents the first examination into the role of cytotype and habitat on competitive interactions of B. umbellatus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Invasive Aquatic Plants)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Ecology and Environmental Impact of Myriophyllum heterophyllum, an Aggressive Invader in European Waterways
Diversity 2020, 12(4), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12040127 - 30 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The submerged evergreen aquatic plant Myriophyllum heterophyllum is among the worst invasive species in Europe, causing severe problems especially in navigation channels but also lentic systems. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview and update on the current distribution and risks associated [...] Read more.
The submerged evergreen aquatic plant Myriophyllum heterophyllum is among the worst invasive species in Europe, causing severe problems especially in navigation channels but also lentic systems. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview and update on the current distribution and risks associated with this species in Europe and elsewhere. We provide an evaluation of current identification keys since misidentification can underestimate the extent of its spread. In addition, hybridization with other milfoil species has been reported in North America but seems unlikely in Europe. We further describe in detail the ecology, specifically resource requirements and biotic interactions with other plants, herbivores and pathogens as well as the spread potential of the species. Good knowledge of the autecology and synecology of this species should allow some conclusions about environmental factors possibly related to its invasive growth and is mandatory for the preparation of species-specific management measures. Finally, we outline the status of regulations coming into effect in member states of the European Union (EU) and provide an overview of applied and potential management practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Invasive Aquatic Plants)
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