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Non-Native Species Impacts Plant and Animal Communities
The introduction of non-native species impacts our plant and animal communities, including local streams, lakes, and estuaries. There has been a lot of concern about the influence that nonnative crayfish are having on our waterways across Maryland.

Introduced crayfish, such as the rusty crayfish and red swamp crayfish, have been transported into our region for use as fishing bait or as a food source in aquaculture. These crayfish are aggressive, eat a lot, grow quickly, have large claws, and tend to establish sizeable colonies.

Large colonies of alien crayfish can also impact submerged aquatic vegetation — the plants that help aerate the water. Losing this vegetation reduces dissolved oxygen, which further degrades water quality. Some studies have also found that alien crayfish populations affect amphibian populations by consuming eggs and eating the young after they hatch.



 
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Algae Blooms Increase as World’s Lake Water Warms - Algae blooms have been associated with mass fish kills, wildlife mortality, and liver failure and irreversible neurological disease in humans. Although harmful algal blooms have been documented for more than a century, recently the number and frequency of cases have drastically increased.


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