Advertisement

Hydrobiologia

, Volume 415, Issue 0, pp 203–206 | Cite as

Azolla filiculoides Lamarck (Pteridophyta: Azollaceae), its status in South Africa and control

  • M. P. Hill
  • C. J. Cilliers
Article

Abstract

Azolla filiculoides Lamarck (Pteridophyta: Azollaceae) (red water fern) is native to South America and was first recorded in South Africa in 1948. The lack of natural enemies and the presence of enriched waters have contributed to its establishment throughout the country where dense infestations cause severe degradation of aquatic ecosystems and limit their utilisation. The biology of A. filiculoides precludes it from being controlled manually or mechanically and herbicidal control in the aquatic environment is undesirable. Biological control is suggested as the only sustainable control method for this weed and a natural enemy, Stenopelmus rufinasus Gyllenhal (Coleptera: Curculionidae), was released for this purpose in late 1997. The weevil has established well and has caused a significant decline in the Azolla mat at a number of sites, suggesting that the weevil will be an efficient tool in the management of A. filiculoides in South Africa.

Red water fern biological control mechanical control herbicide control utilization 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ashton, P. J., 1992. Azolla infestations in South Africa: history of the introduction, scope of the problem and prospects for management. Water Qual. Information Sheet, 7 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Axelsen, S. & C. Julien, 1988. Weed control in small dams. Part II. Control of salvinia, azolla and water hyacinth. Queensland Agricultural Journal, September-October 1988: 291–298.Google Scholar
  3. Buckingham, G. R. & M. Buckingham, 1981. A laboratory biology of Pseudolampsis guttata (Leconte) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) on waterfern, Azolla caroliniana Willd. (Pteridophyta: Azollaceae). Coleopt. Bull. 35: 181–188.Google Scholar
  4. Diatloff, G. & A. N. Lee, 1979. A new approach for control of Azolla filiculoides. Proc. 7th Asian-Pacific Weed Sci. Soc. Conf. 1979: 253–255.Google Scholar
  5. Hill, M. P., 1997. The potential for the biological control of the floating aquatic fern Azolla filiculoides Lamarck (red water fern/rooivaring) in South Africa. Report to the Water Research Commission by the Plant Protection Research Institute Agricultural Research Council. WRC Report No. KV 100/97, 31 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Hill, M. P., 1998a. Herbivorous insect fauna associated with Azolla species (Pteridophyta: Azollaceae) in southern Africa. Afric. Ent. 6: 370–372.Google Scholar
  7. Hill, M. P., 1998b. Life history and laboratory host range of Stenopelmus rufinasus, a natural enemy for Azolla filiculoides in South Africa. BioControl 43: 215–224.Google Scholar
  8. Lumpkin, T. A. & D. L. Plucknett, 1982. Azolla as a green manure: Use and Management in crop production. Westview Tropical Agriculture Series No. 5. Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 230 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Oosthuizen, G. J. & M. M. Walters, 1961. Control of water fern with diesoline. Farming in South Africa 37: 35–37.Google Scholar
  10. Steÿn, D. J., W. E. Scott, P. J. Ashton & F. S. Vivier, 1979. Guide to the use of herbicides on aquatic plants. Technical Report TR 95, Department of Water Affairs, South Africa, pp. 1–29.Google Scholar
  11. Richerson, P. J. & A. A. Grigarick, 1967. The life history of Stenopelmus rufinasus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Ann. ent. Soc. Am. 60: 351–354.Google Scholar
  12. Wagner, G. M., 1997. Azolla: A review of its biology and utilization. Bot. Rev. 63: 1–26.Google Scholar
  13. Van Hove, C., C. Colot & L. Ghesquiere, 1994. From the research station to the field: the missing link. In M. Sidiki & A. Hilali (eds), Recent developments in biological nitrogen fixation research in Africa. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of the African Association for Biological Nitrogen Fixation (AABNF), held at the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine (IVA), Rabat, Morocco, 14–19 September 1994: 542–547.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. P. Hill
    • 1
  • C. J. Cilliers
    • 1
  1. 1.Weeds Division, Plant Protection Research InstituteAgricultural Research CouncilPretoriaSouth Africa Tel

Personalised recommendations