USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

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The ecology of curly leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) and the potential for control using bottom barriers in Lake Tahoe

Proposal [pdf]

Lead Researchers:

Marion Wittmann, Tahoe Environmental Research Center, University of California, Davis
Sudeep Chandra, University of Nevada, Reno
John Reuter, Tahoe Environmental Research Center, University of California, Davis


Aquatic invasive species introduced in recent decades are dispersing and impacting the nearshore of Lake Tahoe. Curly leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) was recently discovered in the southern portion of Lake Tahoe and is rapidly expanding along the littoral zone. Because of curly leaf pondweed's recent introduction and restricted range, it is a viable candidate for control or eradication in Lake Tahoe. Understanding the interactions between the ecology and management of an invasive species is essential in developing a successful control program. The major objectives of this proposal are to: (1) identify the role the "turion bank" of curly leaf pondweed plays in Lake Tahoe waters and the potential for this bank to contribute to the spread of the invasive species, (2) the susceptibility of this bank to the treatment of three kinds of bottom barriers, and (3) recommend and outline the method which should be employed at the lake to prevent further expansion of the plant. This proposal directly addresses the need for control and management of this new and aggressive invasive plant species.

Relation to Other Research Including SNPLMA Science Projects

This research builds upon an ongoing program in Lake Tahoe to control Eurasian watermilfoil using a combination of bottom barriers and hand removal. However, this new project represents novel research since no direct scientific investigations have occurred on this invasive species to date in Lake Tahoe. The barrier treatment methodology could ultimately improve the ecological health and aesthetic of the nearshore zone. Invasive macrophyte populations of Lake Tahoe are already having an impact to the nearshore water clarity and navigability via biomass accumulation. The efficient management and reduction of invasive aquatic macrophyte populations has the potential to remediate these impacts to the Tahoe nearshore.

Expected date of final products:

August 2013

Last Modified: Mar 28, 2013 02:52:08 PM