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Invasive Species: Eurasian Milfoil

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Invasive species are organisms that harm a new environment that they are not native to. Many invasive species like Eurasian milfoil are easily able to reproduce and can do so fast. Due to this, the limited space in a body of water or area of land is quickly taken over by the invasive species so other native plants face the risk of death or even extinction. Overall, these invasive species can do great harm to an ecosystem or an economy, causing problems that are destructive to numerous organisms.
Eurasian milfoil or Myriophyllum spicatum is an aquatic invasive plant that can be found throughout the Chicagoland area and in surrounding bodies of water. This plant can be a hindrance to swimming, boating, and fishing because of their thick, tangled stems and mats of vegetation. According to the Minnesota Sea Grant, Eurasian milfoil also overcrowd a body of water, which leaves little room for the plants native to the Great Lakes. One prediction is that if the Eurasian milfoil is not stopped, a reduction of biodiversity may result in Chicago and the areas surrounding it. If this was to occur, the ecosystems of the Midwest region would be significantly impacted in a negative way.
As reported by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), Eurasian milfoil, which is native to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa, was most likely accidentally introduced to the United States through ballast water, which is water from other places that is dumped into another body of water to aid in stabilizing a ship. The aquatic species are oftentimes trapped in these ballast waters and are released with them into new and unknown environments. This can lead to rapid growth of the invasive species and can become an endangerment to other organisms that...

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