A novel approach to aquatic weed control and habitat restoration using biodegradable jute matting

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Caffrey, J ; Millane, M ; Evers, SL ; Moran, H ; Butler, M

This technical paper presents results from pilot field trials conducted on the novel use of a biodegradable jute material to eradicate the highly invasive aquatic macrophyte Lagarosiphon major Ridley from Lough Corrib, Ireland. The results demonstrate the ability of the jute material to comprehensively kill L. major and to restore native macrophyte communities to areas of the lake that were previously overgrown with this priority invasive species. To date, eight indigenous plant species (four charophytes and four angiosperms) have been recorded growing through the loose-weave jute fabric. However, no Lagarosiphon has been recorded as doing so. This material has the potential for broader application in the management of nuisance aquatic weeds and in the restoration of native flora extirpated by these alien species.
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