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Bugs versus Water Hyacinth
California has released 2,225 starving South American water hyacinth “plant hoppers” into the delta to help battle this invasive aquatic plant. The bugs will descend on the floating mats of water hyacinth and suck out the juices until the plants wither and die.

Traditionally chemicals have been used to defeat the water hyacinth, but treatment hasn’t even begun this summer as the department is waiting for permits. The insects may well be better for the environment than chemicals, but could these little critters themselves become a nuisance in the future?

Water hyacinth is a serious problem, the aquatic plant forms dense mats that entangles boats, frustrates fishermen, invades intake pipes, damages pumps, and wreaks havoc on the delta’s ecosystem.

 
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Greehouse Gas Feedback Loop Discovered in Freshwater Lakes - Up to 77% of the methane emissions from an individual lake are the result of the organic matter shed primarily by plants that grow in or near the water. This matter gets buried in the sediment found toward the edge of lakes, where it is consumed by communities of microbes. Methane gets generated as a byproduct, which then bubbles up to the surface.


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