Thursday, June 12, 2014

Scientists hope to test bacterial pesticide in Wisconsin lake to see if it kills invasive species

Next month scientists hope to test a bacterial pesticide in a Wisconsin lake to see if it can kill zebra mussels, one of the many invasive species threatening the Great Lakes, Lee Bergquist reports for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The experiment would be the first of its kind in a public lake. If successful, the pesticide could be used to control the spread of zebra mussels, as well as quagga mussels, another invasive species reported in the Great Lakes. The experiment is still awaiting approval from state officials. (Sentinel graphic)

"The pair of tiny, sharp-shelled species devour plankton, disrupting ecosystems. They proliferate in areas by the tens of thousands and push out native species, clog water intake systems and play a role in spurring algae blooms," Bergquist writes. "On inland waters, worries run the gamut—from the potential for declining land values to the loss of native mussel populations. On the Great Lakes, the invasive mussels threaten a multibillion-dollar recreational sport fishing industry while fouling beaches by spurring weed growth that rots on shore." (Read more)

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