Eurasian Water Milfoil also known as Water MilfOil is one of the most exotic aquatic plants found in Minnesota. This aquatic plant is quite commonly found in the water of Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. It was in the 1940’s when the Eurasian Water Milfoil first came to the parts of North America. The scientific name of this plant is Myriophyllum spicatum and is a native of Asia, Europe, and North Africa.
Commonly found in lakes, ponds and water reservoirs having shallow capacity of water, Eurasian Water Milfoil is also found in rivers and streams where the water flow is quite slow. The plant has a characteristic of growing very fast and it can grow in quite diverse ways and forms. Even if the stem of Water MilfOil gets detached to its body, it has the capacity to start its growth once again. This plan can also produce flowers and seeds that you can see on the surface of the water source. Remaining parts of the plant are underneath the water surface. It has runner roots and it gets its growth spread in water through the roots. Water MilfOil can tolerate cold water and in fact it grows fast in cold water of the lakes of Minnesota during the beginning of spring.
The growth of Eurasian Water Milfoil is very fast and it spreads in a very little time. The growth is so fast that it can block the light in the water source that can help in the growth of the native quatic plants. The aggressive spread of the plant is dangerous for the other species of aquatic plants because its growth can starve the other plants and they cannot grow in such an environment. If it becomes dense the aquatic plants and animals in the water source can be in danger. Fishes can die because of starving and this is a great threat to the aquatic ecosystem. The sunlight finds it’s hard to penetrate through the water because of this profuse growth of the plant on the water body.
The fishes and other organisms inside the water source where aggressive growth of Water MilfOil happens get very less space to swim and sometimes the growth is so large that the fishes can hardly move. It also makes the other aquatic animals uncomfortable. It becomes tough for the organisms to reach their food and they die eventually.
If timely attention is not given to check the growth of this plant on water body then chances are quite high that it will clog the pond completely. Certain section of the ponds will turn inhospitable for the boaters as well as for the swimmers. The worst part is that as on date there is no known method which can eliminate the existence of milfoil completely from the water body. There are some chemical methods which are used for treating this problem but after certain period of time it again grows back. Biological agents are also available to treat the problem but complete eradication is not possible even by it.
All that can be done is to restrict the growth of this plant from time to time. Use of too much chemicals for cleaning are also not good for water species and so same need to be used in restricted amount only.
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