Water Resources Professional Project Reports


Constance Jones

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



The spread of invasive aquatic plants is an issue of growing concern due to their ability to cause significant negative impacts to the water resources and aquatic environment where they proliferate. The New Mexico Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan, developed in response to this concern, identified Hydrilla verticillata (L.f.) Royle (hydrilla), and Eichornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms. (water hyacinth) as potential invasive weeds in the state and called for identification of the waterbodies at risk of invasion in New Mexico. To accomplish this, the suitable habitats of hydrilla and water hyacinth in New Mexico were predicted using an ecological niche model, the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP). This model uses the known occurrence points of a given species, and the environmental data that affect its distribution, to predict suitable habitat for that species in new area. Rivers, lakes and reservoirs susceptible to invasion were then identified by superimposing a digital map of New Mexicos surface water onto a map of the predicted areas. Potential habitat for hydrilla was identified in a large portion of the eastern side of the state, as well as regions in the southwest and northwest corners. The prediction of suitable habitat for water hyacinth, based on GARP, encompassed the entire state, with the exception iii of some mountainous areas in the north central region of New Mexico. This information can be used by water resource managers, regulators and policy makers to aid in the prevention of the establishment of hydrilla and water hyacinth in New Mexico.

Language (ISO)



Hydrilla--Ecology--New Mexico., Eichhornia--Ecology--New Mexico.


A Professional Project report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Water Resources, Water Resources Program, University of New Mexico.