Handpicked Water Chestnut

Among other effects on Lake Champlain, invasive species have negative impacts on aesthetic values.  For example, Water Chestnuts (Trapa natans) have been documented to far reaching negative affects on Lake ecosystems and aesthetics.  They form dense mat and root systems that can cover large areas of surface water which hinders sunlight (Eyres, 2009).  These mats of vegetation are problematic for boaters, fishermen, water skiers and swimmers all of which can hurt property value (Robinson, 2002),  Water Chestnuts, specifically, can cause property value on the shoreline to decline over $12,000 per lot along heavily infested areas (Domske & O’neil, 2003).

Water Chestnuts deplete available oxygen in the water, which can cause fish kills (Robinson, 2002).  They trap organic matter creating silt which increases sediment levels and breeding spots for mosquitoes (Robinson, 2002).  Water Chestnuts increase the growth of algae and duckweed (Aquatic Plant, 2007).  According to a biological field station in Oneanta, New York, Water Chestnuts are “likely to be seen as unattractive in large quantities and can be unsightly when washed ashore,” (Eyres, 2009).

Sources Cited

Domske, H., & O’neil, C. R. (2003). Invasive species of lakes Erie and Ontario. New York Sea Grant. Retrieved on April 25, 2010 from http://www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/ais/pdfs/AIS-LErieOnt.pdf

Eyres, W. (2009) Water Chestnut (Trapa natans L.) Infestation in the Susquehanna River Watershed: Population Assessment, Control, and Effects. Biological Field Station Oneanta N.Y. Occasional Paper No. 44. Retrieved on April 24, 2010 from http://departments.oneonta.edu/ac ademics/biofld/PUBS/OP/W.%20Eyres%20Thesis%202009%20OP%2044.pdf

Robinson, M. (2002). Water Chestnut: An exotic invasive aquatic plant. D.C.R Office of Water Resources, Lakes and Ponds Program. Retrieved on April 25, 2010 from  http://www.mass.gov/dcr/waterSupply/lakepond/factsheet/Water%20Chestnut.pdf

Aquatic Plant (2007). Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine. Water Chestnuts (Trapa natans): Current Status and Distribution. Retrieved on April 25, 2010 from http://www.wnrmag.com/invasives/classification/pdfs/LR_Trapa_natans.pdf

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