Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Eagles Have Crash-Landed

Hydrilla as a vector? That's what scientists say they have found in South Carolina. As reported by The State, an unknown cyanobacteria was discovered growing on the undersides of the leaves of the invasive aquatic plant hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata). Biologists recently identified it as the species Hapalosiphon fontinalis, unknown to the region, and linked it with the spread of avian vacuolar myelinopathy, a disease that has killed dozens of waterfowl and eagles (who prey on waterfowl). The current hypothesis is that the cyanobacteria causes illness through the production of a chemical that acts as a neurotoxin in birds when they eat hydrilla.

No comments: