Kokel, Haley Nicole (2017-05). Establishment of Native Aquatic Vegetation in Conjunction with an Integrated Invasive Aquatic Vegetation Management Program. Master's Thesis.
Invasive aquatic vegetation is problematic in many Texas lakes and reservoirs and requires management for control. Most often an integrated pest management program incorporating biological, mechanical or chemical means is implemented. Establishment of non-native plants can also be deterred by utilizing an ecological method of planting native vegetation into the empty niches of a disturbed ecosystems that do not have a propagule bank. However, native vegetation establishment can be delayed by herbivory resulting in the need for protection of plants. Lake Raven was chosen as the study site because an integrated pest management approach using chemical, mechanical and biological means has been implemented to control invasive aquatic plants. The most recent herbicide treatments were fluridone on June 6, 2014 and glyphosate in May and August 2014. Native plant restoration was conducted in July 2014 in niches opened from the management of invasive aquatic vegetation. Six deep water and six shallow water species of native aquatic plants were planted in protective exclosures along the shoreline. Plants were given one month to establish before half the treatment exclosures were opened to potential herbivory. Analysis of covariance was used to determine if herbicide and herbivory limited native plant survival. The herbicide application had a significant effect on deep water plants, but did not have a significant effect on shallow water plants. There was not a significant effect associated with herbivory for any of the plant species, which is likely due to remaining invasive aquatic vegetation. Future research is needed to develop an integrated pest management program that incorporates ecological method without limitations from herbicide application.