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Michigan Proposes Spending $14 Million on Invasive Species Prevention
Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday proposed spending $14 million over the next two years in a stepped-up fight to head off more invasions by exotic species that spread disease and threaten Michigan's native plants and wildlife.

More than 200 non-native species have taken hold in the Great Lakes watershed. Aquatic invaders include the parasitic sea lamprey and the quagga and zebra mussel, which have caused billions of dollars in damage to fish populations and infrastructure.

On land, feral swine damage crops and wetlands, while insects such as the emerald ash borer and beech bark disease devastate forests. Thick, towering reed grass called phragmites has overrun shorelines around Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay. Eurasian watermilfoil depletes oxygen and clogs boat motors in many of the state's inland lakes.

 
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Microbes Aid in Establishment of Invasive Species - 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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