This version is not peer-reviewed
Impacts of Water Hyacinth Treatment on Water Quality in a Tidal Estuarine Environment
: Received: 10 October 2018 / Approved: 11 October 2018 / Online: 11 October 2018 (04:29:19 CEST)
: Received: 5 April 2019 / Approved: 8 April 2019 / Online: 8 April 2019 (11:12:45 CEST)
: Received: 16 July 2019 / Approved: 16 July 2019 / Online: 16 July 2019 (08:28:04 CEST)
A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.
Journal reference: Biol. Invasions 2019, 21, 3479-3490
Water hyacinth is a major invasive species that has modified ecosystem functioning in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (hereafter, Delta). Studies in lakes and rivers have shown that water hyacinth can alter water quality. In tidal systems, such as the Delta, water moves back and forth through the water hyacinth patch so water quality directly outside the patch in either direction is likely to be directly influenced by the patch. In this study, we asked whether the presence or treatment of water hyacinth with herbicides resulted in changes in water quality in this tidal freshwater system. We combined existing datasets that were originally collected for permit compliance and for long-term regional monitoring into a dataset that we analyzed with a before-after control-impact (BACI) framework. This approach allowed us to describe the effects of presence as well as treatment of water hyacinth, while accounting for seasonal patterns in water quality. We focused on temperature, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity because these water quality parameters have been shown to be important drivers in the distribution of fish species of management concern. We found that although effects of treatment were not detectable when compared with water immediately upstream, dissolved oxygen and turbidity became more similar to regional water quality averages after treatment. Temperature became less similar to the regional average after treatment, but the magnitude of the change was small. Taken together, these results suggest that tidal hydrology exports the effects of water hyacinth upstream as well as downstream, creating a buffer of altered water chemistry around patches. It also suggests that although water hyacinth has an effect on dissolved oxygen and turbidity, these parameters recover to regional averages after treatment.
water quality; invasive species; water hyacinth; estuaries; temperature; dissolved oxygen; turbidity; herbicide
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