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Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Microseira wollei (formerly classified as Lyngbya wollei)
  • Origin: Asia, Africa, and Australia
  • Introduction: Uncertain – in US >100 years
  • Aquatic community: Submersed, not rooted / floating mats
  • Habitat: Nutrient rich, degraded waters
  • Distribution: Throughout Florida, mostly peninsular
  • Management effort: Maintenance
  • 2020 Acres Treated: 0


Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Cyanobacterium (blue-green alga) associated with waters with high organic content or nutrient levels
    • Increasingly common in Florida springs and lakes / ponds with soft sediments
  • Submersed filaments expand into extensive mats especially in Florida where mats can overwinter
  • Gas bubbles float mats to surface in late spring through summer
  • Dense mats interfere with boating, fishing, swimming, and aesthetics – clog water intakes
    • blocks sunlight from reaching submersed plants
    • reduces oxygen levels by blocking the interface between the water surface and the atmosphere
  • Produces skin, liver, neuro, fish and shellfish toxins can cause gastrointestinal problems
  • Produces off-flavor compounds that imparting earthy or mush-like taste and odor to water
  • May be allelopathic
  • Algal cells reproduce and spread rapidly by water movement, boats, animals; even water droplets
  • Mucilaginous sheath makes herbicide control difficult
    • Most control involves harvesting surface mats or combing submersed mats from native plants
    • Carp will consume almost all other plants before feeding on lyngbya

Management Options

  • Biological: Triploid grass carp ineffective
  • Chemical: Sequential amine endothall + copper applications peroxide;
  • Mechanical: Harvest surface mats – Comb / lift submersed lyngbya from sediments
  • Physical: Drawdowns impractical – can survive dry periods