Aquatic plants are integral components of freshwater ecosystems and provide a number of ecosystem services by providing habitat for fish and aquatic invertebrates, facilitating nutrient cycling and maintaining water quality, and erosion control. However, when in excess, aquatic plants can harm a system by degrading water quality, slowing water velocity, exacerbating siltation or flooding, and reducing species diversity (Madsen 2005). In addition, invasive aquatic weed species which form dense infestations can reduce the diversity of aquatic flora, which can have secondary impacts on aquatic invertebrates and fauna, and fish (van Oosterhout 2009). Such impacts pose a serious threat to the long-term function of freshwater aquatic ecosystems and, if left unchecked, may result in significant habitat alteration (Barnett and Veitch 2007, Yarrow et al. 2009).
Cite this article as:
Dugdale, T.M., Hunt, T.D. and Clements, D. (2013). Aquatic weeds in Victoria: Where and why are they a problem, and how are they being controlled? Plant Protection Quarterly 28(2), 35-41.