Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Great Lakes Scientists Working On Reasons For Explosions Of Native Cladophora Algae

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU
 
hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-23-09 01:44 PM
Original message
Great Lakes Scientists Working On Reasons For Explosions Of Native Cladophora Algae
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, Oct 22 (IPS/IFEJ) - The weather was right for swimming this summer along the shores of Lake Michigan, but on many days, the only living things seen on the beach were gulls, picking away at zebra mussels ensnared in a thick, green slime that covered every rock, pebble and grain of sand for miles. The slime is Cladophora, a native algae that over the last few years morphed from a well-behaved algae into a green monster that fouls drinking water and beaches, and clogs industrial intake pipes in Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes.

Scientists so far haven't found the reason for Cladophora's overgrowth. The lake is under such profound environmental stress that any of a number of factors, alone or together, could be the cause, they say. "It's easy to see what's happening. It's difficult to understand why," J. Val Klump, director of the Great Lakes WATER (Wisconsin Aquatic Technology and Environmental Research) Institute, told IPS.

Top suspects are climate change, which has raised the lake's temperature and lowered water levels, and the widespread, sinister changes in the lake's ecosystem wrought by alien zebra and quagga mussels that now cover the lake bottom by the millions. "These systems are very sensitive to climate change," Klump said.

This isn't the first time Cladophora, whose growth is fueled by phosphorus and other nutrients, changed into a nuisance plant. It also overgrew in the 1960s and '70s until excess phosphorus pouring into the lake was halted, a byproduct of industry and household products. With phosphorus under control, the Cladophora had been too, until about five years ago. "Something has changed," Paul Horvatin, the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes monitoring director, told IPS while onboard The Guardian research vessel on Lake Michigan.

EDIT

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=48956
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC