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Potential Management Options for Controlling Giant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta D.S. Mitchell)
Proceedings of the 2019 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2019 Authors: Sartain B.T.
Giant salvinia is a highly invasive floating aquatic fern that is spreading across the southern United States. It is an aggressive competitor that reproduces asexually through fragmentation, allowing it to easily spread to surrounding water bodies. Giant salvinia growth is rapid and biomass can double in 36 hours under optimal conditions; allowing it to form dense mats of plant material that can completely cover a water body. Due to its rapid growth and ability to form large extensive mats, water resources have been impacted immediately after the initial infestation. Dense plant growth impedes navigation, irrigation, and recreational use of water resources, leading to not only environmental impacts, but economic impacts and public health concerns. These negative impacts have led to situations where giant salvinia needs to be intensively managed to limit its growth and spread to surrounding water bodies. Chemical, biological, physical/mechanical, and integrated control methods are all potential management options available for controlling giant salvinia. Selecting the proper management option is dependent on a number of factors including: management goals and objectives, the size of the infestation, site characteristics, the primary uses of the infested water body, available budget, and proximity to sensitive plant and animal species. This presentation provides an overview of the current management options for controlling and limiting the spread of this species.