Seymour Lake is Broken (floating) Hearted

My project is about how different cutting methods affect the regrowth of the floating heart weed on Seymour Lake. I am curious about this topic because I live on Seymour Lake and this invasive weed is taking over the lake. If I can determine the best cutting method to stop it, then the Seymour Lake Society and the managers of other lakes that are battling this weed, can use my results to save their lakes from floating heart. I set up seven test sites, in areas that have floating heart as well as other weeds. At each site, I did one of the following: continual selective plucking, root removal twice during the experiment, or nothing. My hypothesis was that continual selective plucking would be the best method and that the weed would have big outbreaks at the no cut sites. My experiment showed that root cut method is the best. The role that other plants play in stopping floating heart growth surprised me; there is a real war going on there. In order to be sure of my results, I need to continue this study for another year.

At the two selective cutting sites, the floating heart went up in numbers but down in percentage of overall plants. This method gives the other plants a chance to gain ground over the floating heart, but the floating heart still spreads. I think that the risk of losing pieces of floating heart and having them float off and spread to other parts of the lake is too great and the benefit is too small so I would not recommend selective cutting of floating heart. At the no cut sites, the growth of the floating heart was dependent on the other types of plants nearby. I think that elodea and horsetail might be a good team to fight floating heart. This might be because elodea’s allelopathic abilities affect floating heart because of its leaves, but don’t affect horsetail, due to its lack of leaves. This might be a scientific discovery because floating heart has no known predators. Root cutting worked well because floating heart decreased significantly in both stem count and plant density. Elodea and horsetail were also at the root cut site so they may have played a factor.

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