Eurasian Water-Milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)

Habitat:

Lakes, rivers, streams, canals and ponds. Most common in 1-3m depths, but can occur at depths of up 10m depending on water clarity. It can be found in alkaline or acidic waters, high nutrient environments as well as low and is very adaptable to temperate areas.

Introduction and Range Within Canada:

Native to Europe, Asia and Northern Africa it was first discovered in Canada in Lake Erie around 1961. Since then it has spread to all the great lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and many inland lakes throughout southern and central Ontario. Outside its native range, the plant has spread across every continent except Antarctica!

Impacts:

Forms extremely dense stands with entangled branches on top and just below the water surface over large areas. It quickly reduces biodiversity and suppresses native vegetation and aquatic habitats below by blocking out sunlight. Dense stands create stagnant water, which are ideal habitats for mosquitoes. It impedes water traffic and all forms of water recreation, in some cases can stop it all together. The plant is capable of hybridizing with our native milfoil to create much more aggressive strains of the plants.

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