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Impacts of Invasive Plant Management Techniques

Invasive plant management tools have both pros and cons.

Each type of invasive plant management technique can have both positive and negative impacts. These management techniques include biological control, chemical control, mechanical control, physical control and integrated plant management.

Biological Control
  • Very selective and plant specific
  • Once established, it becomes a continual and self-sustaining management practice
  • Requires more than 10 years of research and is considered expensive by experts
  • Not effective for eradication and populations of the agent may not become established
Chemical Control
  • Considered by experts to be more effective and cost efficient than other methods
  • Selective in which plants are targeted
  • Decaying plants release some nutrients back into the water
  • Has negative public perception
Mechanical Control
  • Removes plants and associated nutrients from the water body
  • Reduces muck from decaying plants
  • Not selective in which plants are targeted and cannot access some areas where they grow
  • By-catch of fish and other organisms occur
  • Usually considered to be more expensive compared to other techniques
Physical Control
  • Considered to be a more natural plant removal process
  • Prescribed burning can be good for the regrowth of native plant populations
  • Can take a significant amount of time and human cooperation
  • Can lead to new infestations of invasive plants if the plants are not disposed of properly
  • Most Florida lakes are not suitable for versions of this technique such as lake draw downs
Integrated Plant Management

Integrated Plant Management (IPM) provides the opportunity to use the strengths of various control methods to complement one another. This type of management requires continual ecosystem evaluation in order to weigh the pros and cons of each management method and combination. Regularly implementing integrated plant management will reduce the overall environmental and economic damage and help maintain healthy habitats for native plants and animals.


 

Any questions should be directed to Shelby Thomas at soesterreicher@ufl.edu. For more information about the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, please visit http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu. Be sure to follow us on social @UFIFASCAIP.