Nymphaea odorata form dense floating mats of vegetation, preventing light penetration for native aquatic plants. These mats alter distributions of phytoplankton, zooplankton, aquatic insects, and fish populations. N. odorata in moderate proportions provides important habitat for fish, frogs, and invertebrates, but once 40% surface area coverage is exceeded declines occurs. These extensive infestations may alter water quality by creating low oxygen conditions beneath the canopy, changing nutrient dynamics, pH level or light regimes while simultaneously promoting exotic species like carp, which easily tolerate low oxygen conditions to establish. Dense infestations may also accelerate the natural siltation process in shallow bodies of water (Alaska Natural Heritage Program, 2006 and Washington Department of Ecology 2005).
Left unmanaged, N. odorata will restrict lake-front access and eliminate swimming opportunities. N. odorata can clog irrigation ditches or streams, retarding water flow and accelerating water loss through transpiration (Washington Department of Ecology, 2003).
Extracts from leaf petioles, and rhizomes have allelopathic potential and may suppress the germination and growth of other aquatic species (Quayyum et al. 1999, Spence 1998). Often noxious plants such as Hydrilla can also be introduced to lakes when waterlilies are planted (Washington Department of Ecology 2005).
No Impact information recorded for Nymphaea odorata