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Tuesday, January 26 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Multifaceted Monitoring and Assessment Indicates Challenges In The Control of Eurasian Watermilfoil In A Lake Superior Coastal Waterway and Inland Lakes of Michigan

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AUTHORS: Casey Huckins*, Michigan Technological University, Amy Marcarelli,, Michigan Technological University, Kevyn Juneau, Michigan Technological University, Rodney Chimner, Michigan Technological University, Colin Brooks, Michigan Technological University -MTRI, Pengfei Xue, Michigan Technological University, Guy Meadows, Michigan Technological University, Erika Hersch-Green, Michigan Technological University

ABSTRACT: Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum, EWM) is a prolific invasive plant throughout much of North America. Populations of EWM have recently been confirmed in coastal waterways of Lake Superior, where cold water temperatures and dynamic environmental conditions present new management challenges. Management of EWM is further challenged by its ability to hybridize with native northern watermilfoil (M. sibiricum), resulting in watermilfoil with apparently reduced sensitivity to traditional herbicide based method of control. The goal of our study is to conduct multi-faceted monitoring and assessment methods to identify the best management practices for preventing, controlling, and predicting invasions of EWM and its hybrids in the Upper Great Lakes.  Extensive monitoring of multi-year treatment programs conducted by local communities in the Keweenaw Waterway, Michigan coupled with a broad survey of milfoil sensitivity to herbicides across an array of inland Michigan Lakes forms a core of the project. Vegetation and environmental monitoring of herbicide treatments show decreased EWM biomass six weeks after herbicide treatment, followed by an increase in dominance by hybrid watermilfoil, which showed variable sensitivity to herbicides in lab studies. Changes in total biomass of non-target macrophytes were not detected after herbicide applications. A major goal is to prevent new invasions through early detection.  New, high-resolution remote sensing methods for identifying EWM are part of the monitoring methods being assessed and developed, and we are developing predictive hydrodynamic models that suggest likely dispersal paths.  We are in the early stages of examining the efficacy and implications of alternative methods of control.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
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