A dip or a dab: assessing the efficacy of Virasure® Aquatic disinfectant to reduce secondary spread of the invasive curly waterweed Lagarosiphon major

Ross N. Cuthbert, Neil E. Coughlan, Kate Crane, Joe M. Caffrey, Hugh J. MacIsaac, Jaimie T. A. Dick

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Aquatic alien invasive species (AIS) are a substantial and increasing threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function worldwide. In particular, invasive aquatic macrophytes, such as the South African curly waterweed Lagarosiphon major ((Ridley) Moss 1928), induce major environmental change that often culminates in wide-ranging ecological and socio-economic impacts. Currently, there is a lack of effective biosecurity protocols to mitigate against such invader spread. Here, we examine the efficacy of a broad-spectrum aquatic disinfectant, Virasure® Aquatic, to induce mortality of L. major propagule stages. We assessed the efficacy of Virasure® Aquatic at contact times of 1, 2 and 5 minutes, using 1% (10g L-1) and 4% (40g L-1) concentrations. A necrosis scale was applied to visually assess tissue degradation. Necrosis increased with longer chemical contact times, with fragment degradation optimised at 2 minutes at 1% concentration and 1 minute at 4% concentration. Mode of application was also critical to treatment effectiveness, with spray treatments less effective than submersion treatments. We recommend the use of Virasure® Aquatic via submersion for a minimum period of 2 minutes at 1% concentration or higher. While spray applications should be applied when submersion is not feasible, such as with large water craft, increased spray times beyond those assessed here should be examined. However, results presented suggest that Virasure® Aquatic can effectively reduce the secondary spread of invasive L. major, and may thus form an integral part of biosecurity protocols. The use of broad-spectrum disinfectants and other readily available treatments, that were not purposefully developed for aquatic AIS control but nevertheless are emerging as effective in aquatic AIS management, is discussed and encouraged.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement of Biological Invasions
Volume9
Issue number3
Early online date05 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2018

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