Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Madsen, D. John

Committee Member

Shaw, R. David

Committee Member

Ervin, N. Gary

Committee Member

Byrd, D. John

Committee Member

Bruce, M. Lori

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Weed Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Aquatic vegetation plays an important role in the ecological interactions and processes within a water body. However, the presence of the invasive exotic aquatic plant species, waterhyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms], negatively affects those interactions as well as interfering with water use for recreation and navigation. An implemented management plan for waterhyacinth control relies on the use of herbicides. Efficacy is commonly assessed using visual injury and control ratings as well as estimating biomass. The problem is that those approaches are labor intensive only assessing single points throughout the entire water body. Therefore, technology like remote sensing, which is the focus of this research, is recommended as an additional tool to assess implemented management plans. Studies were conducted in a mesocosm research facility to evaluate the relationship between simulated spectral bands 3, 4, 5, and 7 Landsat 5 TM and waterhyacinth treated with the herbicides imazapyr and glyphosate. Results indicate that injury is better detected and predicted with band 4 and that relationship is negative when either herbicide was used. However, prediction is better when plants have developed sufficient injury to influence the spectral response of band 4. In the second study, the biomass of waterhyacinth was estimated using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) using simulated data from Landsat 5 TM. This study was conducted over natural populations of waterhyacinth in Lakes Columbus and Aberdeen, MS over two growing seasons. Results indicate that the use of NDVI alone is a weak predictor of biomass; however, its combination with morphometric parameters like leaf area index enhanced predictive capabilities.In order to assess field herbicide treatments for waterhyacinth control and its consequent impact on native aquatic vegetation, lake-wide surveys were performed in Lake Columbus, MS using a point-intercept method. The herbicide assessed was 2,4-D which was applied aerially and by boats. Point-intercept surveys in a 400 by 400 grid of points aided with global positioning system (GPS) were performed before and after herbicide treatments. Obtained results indicate that the frequency of occurrence of waterhyacinth significantly decreased after herbicide treatments which consequently led to the reestablishment of native aquatic vegetation on the system.