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re: Proposed plant ban

I continue to read the postings on the plant ban in Massachussets with
interest.  Without commenting on the source of the problem, I was thinking
about a possible passive aid in combatting some of the offending exotics.

One of Richard's postings mentioned the ability of exotics to survive in
some places simply because of the warm water coming from certain sources.
This warm water allows the plants to overwinter an environment they would
otherwise not survive the winter in.

This obviously doesn't address all or even a particularly large fraction of
the exotic plant problems in the U.S. but may be useful in some situations.

What I was thinking is:  How do you kill the plants around the cool-water
discharge, or how do you kill the plants that die back during the winter
but don't die out?

First, I thought...  Well, you need to allow the water to radiate its heat
before it gets to the lake, river, or stream that is affected.  This may be
possible, and it may not be possible.  Perhaps by diverting water during
the winter so that it loses much or its warmth before entering the
waterway, that might help.

Another thought also came to me.  What if one were to prevent plants from
growing adjacent to the warm water outlet?  Perhaps in some cases,
extending the outlet further into the waterway, where the plants can't grow
due to depth (if applicable), or where the current mixes the warmer water
out too quickly to provide an adequate micro-environment for exotic plants
to flourish.  Or, what if the outlet were shaded thoroughly so that in the
area where plants are known to overwinter, no plants will be able to grow?
The shade solution wouldn't deal with the possibility of non-photosynthetic
species that may persist under an artificially warm microenvironment, but
might be a cheap way to get rid of Cabomba or Anacharis if they have a hard
time with cold water (I haven't experimented).

Just a thought, and probably not particularly on topic, but I thought it
was interesting.

David W. Webb
Live-Foods list administrator
live-foods at actwin_com