A recent study found that the invasion of the exotic algae Starry Stonewort may represent one of the greatest challenges to the biological integrity of inland lakes in the history of lake management in Michigan. The study, done for Commerce Township, indicates the impact on plant communities and critical fishery habitats is profound.
A meeting was recently held at the University of Michigan-Flint to discuss research approaches for management of Starry Stonewort. It looks like a rooted plant, but it is actually an algae. The plant is native to Europe and Asia and was first discovered in the St. Lawrence River sometime in the 1970’s. Since then, it has infested Michigan lakes, including some in Genesee and Oakland counties.
Researchers are concerned about the algae because it can overgrow native plants and damage fish spawning areas. Representatives from UM-Flint and Grand Valley State University faculty, lake management practitioners, the DNRE, and industrial concerns attended the meeting. The group is working to formulate approaches for control of Starry Stonewort and other invasive species.
For additional information: http://www.commercetwp.com/files/08StarryStonewortV5.pdf