Faculty receives grant to research control of invasive plant in northern lakes
Dr. John Havel, biology professor at Missouri State University, received a $24,323.00 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources via the University of Wisconsin, Madison for “A Field Test on the Effectiveness of Milfoil Weevil for Controlling Eurasian Water-Milfoil in Northern Lakes.”
“The Eurasian water-milfoil (EWM) is a nuisance, aquatic plant growing in an increasing number of Wisconsin lakes,” said Havel.
Chemicals are often used to treat EWM, but the water-milfoil weevil, Euhrychiopsis lecontei, often has a damaging effect on EWM and can significantly reduce plant densities, according to Havel.
“While much work has addressed weevil population numbers and habitat requirements, less is known about the effectiveness of weevils on populations of EWM, particularly in comparison to chemical treatments,” said Havel.
The purpose of the project is to test the effectiveness of the native water-milfoil weevil for controlling the EWM to determine if the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources should adopt augmentation with native weevils as an alternative to chemical treatment to suppress EWM.
“Recreation in Wisconsin lakes is a billion dollar enterprise, and the quality of lakes is greatly degraded by this nuisance plant,” said Havel. “Recent estimates indicate that the property values of lakeshore homes decline by 15 percent after lakes are invaded by EWM.”
The funding from the grant will be used to hire students, travel to field sites and purchase the weevils for the 4-year long experiment.
For more information, contact Havel at (715) 356-9494.
College of Natural and Applied Sciences
The College of Natural and Applied Sciences incorporates more than 20 undergraduate and 13 graduate programs along with one cooperative program offered through a partnership with Missouri S&T. The academic departments that make up the college include: biology; chemistry; computer science; engineering; geography, geology and planning; hospitality and restaurant administration; mathematics; and physics, astronomy and materials science. Students have the opportunity for intense hands-on research and internships through a number of outreach and research centers and work alongside faculty who are producing cutting-edge research in their fields.
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