Archive for March 5th, 2010

Managing Giant Salvinia

Friday, March 5th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Giant Salvinia is a fast growing exotic aquatic plant from South America that loves the warm, nutrient rich environment of Texas’ protected waters. This invasive species develops into large floating mats of vegetation.

The water under the mat is quickly depleted of dissolved oxygen due to the lack of sunlight and contact with the air’s surface; it becomes highly acidic and basically unfit for aquatic life.

Howard Elder is an aquatic habitat biologist. Giant Salvinia can be controlled in small areas using integrated pest management.

We can only conduct herbicide operations during the warmer months when the plant is actually growing.

In South America, where Giant Salvinia is native, natural processes, including a weevil, control the plant’s growth.

We have investigated this Giant Salvinia weevil, as we call it, as a bio-control agent. And research began in 2002 after the USDA approved its importation and use and distribution in the field within the United States. The initial results of Giant Salvinia weevil introduction offers great promise as a long-term inexpensive alternative in the control of Giant Salvinia infestations in Texas and throughout the South.

That’s our show… made possible by the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…working to eradicate invasive species from Texas waters.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.