Latest Naturedigger News!!! We are undergoing some very exciting changes over the next year. We have released two apps since May, Monarch SOS and Lakes SOS, and have many more on tap over the next several months. Our Coastal SOS and Horseshoe SOS apps will be released very soon. Check out our apps page and follow us on Twitter to see what's coming!
Invasive Species Highlight: Zebra Mussels
Zebra mussels are the bane of our Great Lakes. This month, Naturedigger visited a lake in Massachusetts that has been plagued by these little mollusks since 2006. Zebra mussels are devastating to an ecosystem. Massive populations of them filter the water, which seems like a good thing, but too much filtering leads to less food (zoo and phytoplankton) for fry and other mussels and limits species diversity in areas they occur. Zebra mussels also clog (and cause damage to) water intakes, specifically in water treatment plants, and cling to boats and other surfaces causing costly damage. Once established, they are almost impossible to eradicate. If you suspect zebra mussels in your waterbody, report them to your state's environmental department or extension office.
This month's Nature Nugget:
Fanwort, an aquatic plant native to the southern United States, is taking over many lakes and rivers outside of its native range. The fanwort flowers may appear harmless, but look beyond them at the incredible number of stems and leaves surrounding the flowers. Those leaves will break down causing the water to become oxygen deprived which will cause fish kills. Recreation will cease and property values may drop if this plant is found in a lake or river in the northeast. Just one small fragment of this plant can start an infestation, so keep an eye on your favorite waterbody for this beast of a plant.