Experimental weed control of Najas marina ssp. intermedia and Elodea nuttallii in lakes using biodegradable jute matting

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Markus A. Hoffmann *
Alberto Benavent González
Uta Raeder
Arnulf Melzer
(*) Corresponding Author:
Markus A. Hoffmann | Markus.Hoffmann@tum.de


The use of jute matting in managing the invasive aquatic macrophyte species Elodea nuttallii (Planch.) H. St. John and Najas marina ssp. intermedia (Wolfg. ex Gorski) Casper (Najas intermedia) was studied in laboratory experiments and field trials. Four German lakes with predominant population of Najas intermedia or Elodea nuttalli were chosen for the experiment and areas between 150 and 300 m² were covered with jute textile. The effect of the matting on the growth of invasive and non-invasive macrophytes was determined through comparison with control transects. Biodegradable jute matting successfully suppressed the invasive macrophyte Najas intermedia and significantly reduced the growth of Elodea nuttalli in lakes. The results indicate that the capability of the matting to inhibit the growth of Elodea nuttallii and Najas intermedia depends on the mesh size of the jute weaving and that environmental conditions can affect its efficiency. Various indigenous species like Charales or Potamogeton pusillus L. were able to grow through the jute fabric and populate the treated areas. Until the end of the vegetation period, none of the invasive species were able to penetrate the covering and establish a stable population; in fact, in the subsequent year the jute matting affected only the spread of Najas intermedia. Jute matting proved to be an easy-to-use and cheap method to control the growth of Elodea nuttallii and Najas intermedia.

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