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Environment & Climate Change

New invasion threatens Michigan water plants

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treknature.com
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European frog-bit (Latin name - Hydrocharis morsus-ranae)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - An invasive plant is spreading in Michigan waters.

The Department of Natural Resources says European frog-bit has been spotted in Saginaw Bay, Alpena and Chippewa County's Munuscong Bay. Until recently, the free-floating aquatic plant had been reported only in a few sites in the southeastern Lower Peninsula.

European frog-bit was released accidentally into Canadian waters in the 1930s. It has spread across Ontario and the Northeastern U.S.

It forms dense vegetative mats that cover the available open water surface.

Frog-bit shades out submerged native plants. That reduces invertebrate and plant biodiversity, disrupts natural water flow, inhibits watercraft movement and may adversely affect fish and wildlife habitat.

It resembles a miniature water lily, with leaves about the size of a quarter or half-dollar.

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