The interaction between biology and the management of aquatic macrophytes
‘Management’ refers to controlling nuisance aquatic species and to restoring or restructing aquatic plant communities. Producing stable, diverse, aquatic plant communities containing a high percentage of desirable species is a primary management goal. There are a variety of techniques including harvesting, herbicides, water-level fluctuation, sediment alteration, nutrient limitation, light alteration, and biological controls which can be used for managing macrophytes. These techniques are briefly reviewed along with discussions of biological considerations important to the efficacy of the technique and the environmental impacts of the technique. There is a growing interest in restoring and restructing aquatic plant communities. Techniques for community restoration are discussed as are emerging management technologies using growth regulators and bioengineering. New management technologies will probably be limited by costs and environmental impacts. In the near future, better macrophyte management will come through better planning and more effective use of present technology. The challenge is to make current planning and management techniques more effective through increased biological inputs. The potential for biological input ranges from subcellular biology to species biology, to community and ecosystem biology. Some information needs are identified.