Composting as an Alternative Management System for Wild Taro (Colocasia esculenta) and Brown Algae (Sargassum fluitans and Sargassum natans)

Thursday, July 25, 2013: 10:30 AM
Springs Salon D/E (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Jennifer Sembera , Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
Tina Waliczek Cade , Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
The purpose of this study was to investigate the large-scale compost management of 3 aquatic species that pose threats to local ecosystems in Texas: Colocasia esculenta (wild taro), Sargassum fluitans, and Sargassum natans (brown algae, collectively). To conduct this study, species were collected from Spring Lake in San Marcos, TX, and along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline in Corpus Christi, TX. Three cubic yards of each species were incorporated as feedstocks into various large-scale compost piles and tested for plant viability and compost composition. Results indicated that each species can be utilized as an effective feedstock source in future composting operations in Central Texas. This study also supports compost management systems as an effective alternative system of invasive species management by rendering propagules of these species unviable, while creating a marketable byproduct for use in agriculture, horticulture, and related markets.