Analysis of the Invasiveness of Cabomba caroliniana A. Gray in Massachusetts and Rhode Island Freshwater Lakes and Assessment of the Impacts of Local Community Action Groups on AIS Management and Intervention Programs
Carolina Fanwort; Cabomba caroliniana; Aquatic Invasive Plants; Pondweed Management; Community Action Groups
All Rights Retained by Nicole Cournoyer and Bryant University
Native to parts of South America and southeastern United States, Cabomba caroliniana A. Gray is an invasive aquatic pondweed species that has migrated to northern regions of the United States. C. caroliniana is known for its rapid growth pattern and its ability to dominate freshwater ecosystems. The overgrowth of this invasive species is difficult to manage, with few effective eradication/control methods available. Dense hairs and crystals found upon the leaf surfaces are believed to enhance the ability of Carolina fanwort to survive in a wide variety of ecosystems. Management of this particular species requires an active approach. This study explored the relative effectiveness of structured lake management groups in controlling and managing C. caroliniana populations. Three lakes were studied (one of which is a privately-owned lake while the other two are open to the public). Results show that a well-structured, active citizens’ group focusing on a privately managed lake appears to be more effective at controlling Cabomba caroliniana than a loosely organized public interest group on a publically managed lake.