European Frog Bit (Hydrocharis Morsus-Ranae)

Habitat:

Fresh waterbodies with areas of somewhat limited wave action, slow moving water or currents, sheltered inlets, lakes, ponds, rivers and canals.

Introduction and Range Within Canada:

Originally introduced in 1932 the plant was brought from Europe to the "Central Experimental Farm" in Ottawa for possible commercial use as an ornamental plant. In 1939 it was found in the Rideau Canal and has since Spread to several lakes and rivers throughout Ontario. The plant can spread between waterbodies via dispersal of seeds, plant fragmentation and the "turion" parts of the plant that are transported with boats, trailers and other equipment.

Impacts:

Fast growing, it forms large, dense floating mats of intertwining plants, greatly reducing native submerged plants while covering and diminishing sunlight to native species below. When a large colony of plants die and decompose they substantially remove oxygen from the water column which affect fish communities and other aquatic life. It impedes water flow and recreational activities including boating, swimming and fishing.

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