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Author: Jennifer Forman Orth

Invading your brain since 2002.

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Nature Blog Network

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


In case you missed it in the Twitter feed, Maryland announced Tuesday that they are the latest state to become host to the nasty invasive alga affectionately known as "rock snot" (Didymosphenia geminata, or didymo). The freshwater algae was discovered by anglers (go anglers! :-)) at Gunpowder Falls. Click through to the press release for a map of the area and contact information if you're in Maryland and think you've found didymo.

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We need to begin to clarify the native status of Didymo. This is a circumboreal species, native to the United States. Many documented occurrences are buried in literature and/or museum collections. As an example, Didymo was collected from the Delaware River in the early 1900s. There are many unknowns surrounding Didymo including whether or not something has changed within Didymo's environment or genetic make-up to allow it to become a nuisance species, or are we just more in-tune to these blooms after Australian scientists sent our a warning discussing how problematic this species is in Australia, where it is truly a non-native species.

This doesn't mean that we should become complacent and not clean gear when moving to different stream systems. Didymo has been great in getting people that message.

By Blogger Troy, at 5/08/2008 07:20:00 AM  

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