Common salvinia (Salvinia minima) is native to South American. It is a small free-floating plant that grows in clusters and develops into dense, floating mats or colonies in quiet water, undisturbed by wave action. The floating leaves of salvinia are more or less round (1/2 to 3/4 inch) with a distinct midrib along which the leaf may fold forming a cup-shaped appearance.
Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta) is native to South American. It is a small free-floating plant that grows in clusters and develops into dense, floating mats or colonies in quiet water, undisturbed by wave action. The floating leaves of giant salvinia are oblong (0.5 to 1.5 inches long) with a distinct midrib along which the leaf may fold forming a compressed chain-like appearance. Giant salvinia has sporangia but are thought to reproduce only by fragmentation. Giant salvinia can double in size in 4 to 10 days under good conditions.
Dense salvinia colonies provide habitat for micro invertebrates but if salvinia completely covers the surface of a pond it will cause dissolved oxygen depletions and fish kills. These colonies will also eliminate submerged plants by blocking sunlight penetration. Salvinias have no known direct food value to wildlife and is considered an exotic and highly undesirable species.
Salvinia Control Options
Salvinia can be removed by raking or seining it from the pond's surface but will re-establish from any remaining fragments.
Grass carp will seldom control aquatic vegetation the first year they are stocked. They will consume salvinia but are usually not effective for total control. Grass carp stocking rates to control salvinia are usually in the range of 7 to 15 per surface acre or higher.
The active ingredients that have been successful in treating salvinia include diquat (G), fluridone (E), and glyphosate (G). E = excellent, G = good.
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