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Eurasian Water Milfoil

Eurasian water milfoil is a submersed aquatic plant native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. It is the only non-native milfoil in Wisconsin. Eurasian milfoil first arrived in Wisconsin in the 1960's. During the 1980's, it began to move from several counties in southern Wisconsin to lakes and waterways in the northern half of the state. Unlike many other plants, Eurasian water milfoil does not rely on seed for reproduction. It reproduces vegetatively by fragmentation, allowing it to disperse over long distances. Milfoil is readily dispersed by boats, motors, trailers, live wells, and bait buckets, and can stay alive for weeks if kept moist. Its ability to spread rapidly by fragmentation and effectively block out sunlight needed for native plant growth often results in single habitat stands. The single habitat stands threatens the aquatic communities in a number of ways, such as, dense stands disrupt predator-prey relationships by fencing out larger fish, and reducing the number of nutrient-rich native plants available for water fowl.

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