Propagation and Establishment of Native Plants for Vegetative Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER LEWISVILLE TX LEWISVILLE AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM RESEARCH FACILITY
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Aquatic plants are a vital, but often missing, component of shallow, freshwater systems. Manmade systems, such as multipurpose reservoirs, of course do not come equipped with aquatic plant communities. Even natural systems, such as streams, ponds, and lakes, have often been so disturbed that they, too, lack aquatic plants. An absence of plants often results in relatively poor aquatic habitat shoreline erosion water quality problems development of noxious algal blooms and, often, susceptibility to invasion by harmful, nonnative, aquatic weeds. If resource managers wish to avoid these problems and to realize sustainable environmental benefits, they must take action to restore a diverse plant community dominated by native species. To date, the best method to ensure successful establishment of a diverse, native plant community is to plant robust propagules of desirable species in selected, favorable environments and to provide them with protection from grazing. This report provides general information on production of aquatic plant propagules and on methods of planting and protection that should facilitate the development of diverse native plant communities in aquatic systems. We document the successful application of these techniques in a number of aquatic ecosystems.