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Hurricane Floodwaters Spread Non-Native Freshwater Plants and Animals
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate may have spread non-native freshwater plants and animals into new water bodies, where some of them can disrupt living communities or change the landscape.

More than 1,270 freshwater aquatic species have been reported as found beyond their home ranges nationwide. Some have caused no obvious ill effects on their new habitats. Others, like the zebra mussels introduced into the Great Lakes, have caused damage to fisheries, shipping, water utilities and other industries.

To help land managers find and manage these flood-borne newcomers, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have created four online maps, one for each hurricane. These “storm tracker” map sets, on which users can see the potential spread of any of 226 non-native aquatic plant and animal species during the 2017 hurricane season, are available at https://nas.er.usgs.gov/viewer/Flooding/.



 
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Duckweed and Algae Beneficial for a Marsh System - Ssome duckweed and algae growth can be beneficial for a marsh system by providing food, oxygen and some shade and cover. However, excessive growth inhibits plant diversity, reduces fish and wildlife habitat and hastens eutrophication of the marsh.


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