|Invasive Species of Lake Jackson Aquatic Preserve
The fluctuating water levels and habitats within the preserve prevent the domination of most potential
invasive species. The main threats are hydrilla and the island apple snail. Chinese tallow
(popcorn tree), alligatorweed and water hyacinchs are also present, but controlled.
The island apple snail is well-adapted for these conditions and is thriving in all areas of the
preserve.This invasive species is originally from South America. They are voracious eaters that feed
off of alltypes of aquatic plants, threatening the natural environment and reducing the habitat for
other native species. There are no effective control measures for the snail and they remain a major
problem in Lake Jackson.
Hydrilla has been difficult to control, but the drawdown in 1999 nearly eradicated it and allowed for
easier management of the remainder. It is being managed by a combination of herbicidal treatments and
sterile grass carp which are introduced to eat the hydrilla. Hydrilla is still abundant, especially
in areas with heavy runoff pollution. The major threat of hydrilla is its ability to dominate the
ecosystem at all levels of the lake's water column. The only known benefit of hydrilla is as a food
source for migrating waterfowl.
Alligatorweed has historically been controlled by the alligatorweed flea beetle, but has begun
expanding recently. Recent cold weather may have killed the beetle. Water hyacinths are less abundant
on the lake and have been controlled using herbicides. Chinese tallow is a tree that can become
invasive in saturated areas. Most of the areas where it has become established are disturbed areas
where native species have been removed, but it can be a problem for native species such as tupelo and
cypress. Cuban bulrush is an invasive plant species that
can form large floating colonies. It is controlled by
herbicide and also eaten by waterfowl. This species is
one of the newer invasive plants to come into Lake
Jackson Aquatic Preserve.
Chinese tallow (popcorn tree)
December 06, 2016
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
DEP Home | About DEP
| Contact Us | Search |
Site Map |