White Iron Chain Of Lakes Association

News & Updates Blog

Starry stonewort invasion in Minnesota lakes

Webinar: Starry stonewort invasion in Minnesota lakes (spread & impacts)

By The Aquatic Invasive Species Detectors Program @ University of Minnesota

Date and Time

Thu, October 17, 2019

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 17th at noon to tune into a webinar from MAISRC graduate student Carli Wagner. Carli will be presenting her graduate research on one of Minnesota' newest -- and least understood -- aquatic invasive species, starry stonewort. This was one of the most popular talks at the 2019 Aquatic Invasive Species Research and Management Showcase, so if you missed out, now's your opportunity to hear directly from Carli.

The webinar is free but registration is required.

Talk details

The invasive alga starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa) has become an increasing problem in Minnesota lakes since it was first identified here in 2015. In several lakes, starry stonewort is widely established and can grow abundant and dense. This growth certainly has recreational impacts, but the ecological effects of starry stonewort in Minnesota lakes are unknown. Potential impacts to native aquatic plants are of particular concern since they are an integral part of lake ecosystems. Carli examined the impacts of starry stonewort on native aquatic plants and tracked its invasion over multiple years to assess how it spreads and changes habitat. She found that starry stonewort negatively affected multiple aspects of native aquatic plant communities -- from individual species to functional groups to overall diversity and abundance. Starry stonewort can quickly expand and alter plant communities as a result. These findings fill knowledge gaps related to the impacts of starry stonewort in Minnesota lakes and can be used to guide response efforts.

More information

In the meantime, brush up on this research project on The University of Minnesota website.

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