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Research Articles and Agency Reports on Aquatic Plants and Invasive Species

This page lists links to peer-reviewed publications and agency reports related to invasive species, aquatic plants and their management. If you are interested in reading beyond the abstracts of the peer-reviewed articles, contact the corresponding author listed on the document webpage. The DNR is not able to provide the full articles due to copyright laws.

Understanding Invasives and Aquatic Plants
Document Document Type Description
Prioritizing Management of Non-Native Eurasian Watermilfoil Using Species Occurrence and Abundance Predictions Peer-reviewed publication In this study, researchers used data collected from 657 Wisconsin lakes to develop predictive models for Eurasian watermilfoil occurrence and abundance to produce a smart prioritization tool for Eurasian watermilfoil management.
A macrophyte bioassessment approach linking taxon-specific tolerance and abundance in north temperate lakes. Mikulyuk et al. 2017. Peer-reviewed publication This article proposes a method for using aquatic plant communities to assess lake biological condition and defines a human disturbance index for 462 Wisconsin lakes.
A framework for evaluating heterogeneity and landscape-level impacts of non-native aquatic species. Vander Zanden et al. 2017. Peer-reviewed publication Building on the study below by Hansen et al., this article shows that, across the sites with non-native species, it may be fairly uncommon for these species to actually have negative ecological impacts.
Commonly rare and rarely common: Comparing population abundance of invasive and native aquatic species. Hansen et al. 2013. Peer-reviewed publication This study analyzes 24,000 populations of 17 invasive and 104 native aquatic species and shows that in most locations where invasive species are present, their densities remain low.
The relative role of environmental, spatial and land-use patterns in explaining aquatic macrophyte community composition. Mikulyuk et al. 2011. Peer-reviewed publication Data from 225 Wisconsin lakes was used in this study to determine that latitude, alkalinity and degree and type of disturbance are major environmental and spatial factors that influence macrophyte communities.
Response of aquatic macrophytes to human land use perturbations in the watersheds of Wisconsin lakes, U.S.A. Sass et al. 2010 Peer-reviewed publication Patterns in human land use and aquatic macrophytes communities are described in this article, including variation in water chemistry parameters, lower species richness and greater abundance of non-native species in more highly developed watersheds and more.
Testing a methodology for assessing plant communities in temperate inland lakes. Mikulyuk et al. 2010. Peer-reviewed publication This study evaluates how changes in Wisconsin DNR’s point-intercept sampling protocol for aquatic macrophytes would influence estimations of species richness, frequency of occurrence, estimations of percent littoral area and maximum depth of plant growth.
Evaluation of Aquatic Plant Management
Document Document Type Description
Evaluation of large-scale low-concentration 2,4-D treatments for Eurasian and hybrid watermilfoil control across multiple Wisconsin lakes. Nault et al. 2017 Peer-reviewed publication Twenty-three large-scale, low-concentration 2,4-D herbicide treatments in Wisconsin lakes were studied pre- and post-management in this study. Results show variability in EWM control, herbicide persistence, non-target impacts and reduced control of hybrid watermilfoil.
Lessons from a decade of lake management: Effects of herbicides on Eurasian watermilfoil and native plant communities. Kujawa et al. 2017. Peer-reviewed publication Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) abundance in 13 unmanaged lakes and 15 lakes with herbicide treatments targeting EWM are compared in this 11-year study. Findings show that adaptive management can reduce EWM abundance over time but also that control and non-target effects on native plants are variable.
A field test on the effectiveness of milfoil weevil for controlling Eurasian watermilfoil in Wisconsin lakes. Havel et al. 2017. Peer-reviewed publication Weevil-stocked and non-stocked (control) EWM beds in were monitored in 4 Wisconsin lakes for 3 years in this study. The authors found that weevil density is an important factor for predicting EWM biomass, but not growth. Background weevil densities were often greater than stocked weevil densities.
Abundance of milfoil weevil in Wisconsin lakes: Potential effects from herbicide control of Eurasian watermilfoil. Havel et al. 2017. Peer-reviewed publication This study examines the densities of milfoil weevil populations, which feed on EWM, in untreated lakes and lakes with recent herbicide treatments. Weevil populations in recently treated lakes were one-fifth the size of weevil populations in untreated lakes.
Relationships between water chemistry and herbicide efficacy of Eurasian watermilfoil management in Wisconsin lakes. Frater et al. 2016. Peer-reviewed publication This article shows that water chemistry parameters, such as pH, conductivity and total dissolved solids, can influence the longevity of management outcomes for herbicide treatments of EWM.
Impacts of 2,4‐dichlorophenoxyacetic acid aquatic herbicide formulations on reproduction and development of the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). DeQuattro and Karasov 2016. Peer-reviewed publication This laboratory study examines the effects of 2,4-D (amine) aquatic herbicide products on fathead minnow reproduction, embryonic development and larval survival. Herbicide concentrations tested bracket the range of concentrations found during whole-lake 2,4-d treatments in Wisconsin.
Efficacy, selectivity and herbicide concentrations following a whole-lake 2,4-D application targeting Eurasian watermilfoil in two adjacent northern Wisconsin lakes. Nault et al. 2014. Peer-reviewed publication Efficacy and selectivity of large-scale, low-dose 2,4-D treatments for EWM control in 2 nearby lakes in northern Wisconsin were evaluated in this study. In one of the lakes, EWM was not detected for 3 years following large-scale treatment with 2,4-D, though several other native species also experienced sustained significant declines. The herbicide also degraded more slowly than expected.
Early season 2,4-D herbicide and deep harvesting treatment effects on Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and native macrophytes in Turville Bay, Lake Monona, Dane County, Wisconsin. Barton et al. 2013. Agency report This report compares early-season 2,4-D treatment and mechanical approaches for management of EWM. It emphasizes the importance of considering management goals and concludes that small-scale management can provide temporary, localized and somewhat selective nuisance control of EWM and that longer-term study is needed.
Whole-lake herbicide treatments for Eurasian watermilfoil in four Wisconsin lakes: Effects on vegetation and water Clarity. Wagner et al. 2007. Peer-reviewed publication Effects of four experimental, whole-lake fluridone treatments for EWM are assessed in this study, which found them to result in 1-4 years of EWM relief, decreases in water clarity in some cases and changes in macrophytes community composition.
Is the cure worse than the disease? Comparing the ecological effects of an invasive aquatic plant and the herbicide treatments used to control it. Mikulyuk et al. 2020. Peer-reviewed publication This study used data on native aquatic plant communities from 173 Wisconsin lakes to compare the ecological effects associated with EWM to those associated with historical lakewide herbicide treatments. Results indicated that native plant species were often negatively associated with lakewide herbicide treatments while the relationships between native species and EWM were often positive. The findings reveal an ecological cost of lakewide herbicide treatment that warrants careful consideration within an integrated pest management framework.