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Microbes Aid in Establishment of Invasive Species
A new genetic study by the University of New South Wales is trying to determine whether exotic marine plants successfully invade new territory and replace native species. The study is testing the idea that marine microbes play a critical role in the establishment of invasive marine species.

Microbes associated with native species provide resistance to invasion, but the microbes associated with invasive species actually breakdown this resistance and may even poison the native plants.

Researchers are also testing the effects different sediments have on the growth of algae and have found that sediments associated with seagrass reduce algal growth. The results show that dense beds of seagrass are resistant to colonization of algae, but when seagrass beds decline due to other pressures the balance of microbes in the sediment changes, giving the algae a change to invade new areas.




 
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Deadly Chain Reaction Triggered by Zebra Mussels - Thousands of dead loons washed up on the Michigan shore after falling victim to botulism. The die-off is part of a chain of events that begin with zebra mussels.


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