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BERKY Mähboot NEREUS 150 Wasserpest Badesee


BERKY mowing boat NEREUS 150 collects water weed in swimming lake


Especially in summer, scratchy and dense mats of aquatic plants grow in many bathing lakes and spoil the bathing experience for many bathers. These plants are often invasive species not originally from Europe, which form dense masses on the water surface and sometimes even in the entire body of water. Campground or water sports facility operators who have to deal with this problem are often left out in the cold and complain about dwindling visitor numbers. This article will explain which plant species cause the most problems here and what can be done to combat them.

Invasive aquatic plants in Central Europe: causes and challenges for aquatic ecology

In Central Europe, it is mainly the waterweed (Elodea sp.) or species of water milfoil, such as the spiky water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), which cause major problems in swimming lakes. Due to their vegetative, i.e. asexual reproduction through broken off pieces of shoots, they are able to spread explosively and by means of current movements of the water or in the feathers of migratory birds, spread even further. Thanks to so-called turions, special overwintering buds, they even survive the cold months in the waters and cause problems again the next year. So once they are present in the water body, it is difficult to impossible to get rid of them. The mentioned and various other invasive plants often originate from tropical regions of this earth and reached Europe through distribution and cultivation as garden or aquarium plants.

The effects of invasive and native aquatic plants on aquatic ecology.

Not only the fun of swimming is spoiled by a mass occurrence of these plants. Native flora and fauna are also negatively affected. In addition to nutrient competition in the water body, the invasive exotics can overgrow native plant species, thus blocking access to sunlight. In addition, the abundance of dead biomass can accelerate siltation processes in waterbodies. The decomposition of these substances by microorganisms deprives the water of a great deal of oxygen, which can lead to the formation of a layer of mud on the bottom of the water body that is hostile to life.

However, native representatives of the flora on and in the water body can also form dominant stands and cause problems in swimming lakes. The crested pondweed (Stuckenia pectinata, or Potamogeton pectinatus), for example, can form dense stands if nutrient levels are high and there is sufficient light in the swimming lake.

In addition to a scratchy experience on the skin of bathers, these plants are also capable of spoiling the summer day for water sports enthusiasts or anglers. The plants’ long stems can clog motorboat rotor blades or get tangled on fishing hooks. In addition, the plants provide optimal conditions for mosquito larvae, which develop excellently under the protection of the floating green mats and can also spoil the vacation after hatching.However, water sports enthusiasts and anglers can also inadvertently contribute to the spread of the plant by not cleaning and clearing their boats, or fishing gear of plant debris. The broken stems can also survive for some time in dry conditions and begin to grow again in newly introduced waters.

Effective and environmentally friendly methods to control aquatic plant growth in water bodies.

To cope with the problem and ensure a smooth vacation season at recreational lakes, mechanical methods such as the use of mowing boats or mowing collection boats can provide relief. They represent a gentler approach as opposed to the use of herbicides or other chemical weed control agents. For cutting bottom-rooted species, a T-cutter with a double blade is a good choice, as it cuts plant stems with ease.

The bank area can also be cleared of growth using a mowing boat: Thanks to an outrigger on the boat, plants can be cut from the water along the bank. Accesses to the water or to jetties thus remain free and accessible. To fight aquatic plants, a mowing boat can be equipped with a clearing rake. Sometimes it is even sufficient to tear out dense stands of plants with this implement, as is the case with the narrow-leaved waterweed (Elodea nuttallii). Additionally, a mowing boat can be used to fight aquatic plants effectively, ensuring a pleasant experience for lake visitors.

Take action against water plants with our mowing boat

If you are interested in a BERKY mowing boat and want to learn more about the technical specifications of mowing boats, feel free to contact us. Our experienced technicians will be happy to advise you.



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If you have any questions regarding low-impact riparian maintenance or riparian flora and fauna, please feel free to contact our environmental scientist:

Bernd Kirchner

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