Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Brazilian Elodea found in Lake County

An invasive, difficult-to-eradicate aquarium plant has been found in a pond in Libertyville, and Lake County officials are telling residents to dispose of such plants by throwing them in the garbage and not by leaving them out in the open.

Routine pond maintenance in Libertyville uncovered two populations of the invasive species Brazilian Elodea. The plants were found in Libertyville last summer.

Tests conducted by the Lake County Health Department confirmed that Brazilian Elodea continued to thrive beneath 8 inches of ice covered by 6 inches of snow, a release from the Lake County Health Department stated.

Brazilian Elodea is considered exotic and invasive in the United States, according to the release. Until 2008, this invasive aquatic plant was only found in 17 counties in the Midwest and Ontario, with only one known population surviving the cold winters of central Minnesota.

This plant is widely sold as an aquarium and water garden plant and an “oxygenator” for water nurseries under the name “Anacharis."

The problem occurs when the plants from aquariums or water gardens are released into a neighboring water body instead of being disposed of properly (i.e., in the garbage).

Once established, Brazilian Elodea is difficult to completely eradicate. This plant can grow aggressively in lakes and streams, causing a decline in water quality, restricting water movement, interfering with navigation and traditional recreational uses, and reducing the abundance and diversity of native plants.

The Health Department urges residents to take the following precautions to stop the spread of Brazilian Elodea and other invasive plant species: • Dispose of any excess plants in the trash.

• Do not release aquatic invasive plants into any waters.

• Rinse your aquatic garden plants before planting.

• Keep aquatic plants contained in your water garden.

• Clean all recreational vehicles, trailers, and equipment before leaving any lake or river, since the plant can "hitchhike" onto such equipment.

— Sun-Times News Group


Related Posts with Thumbnails