Thursday , September 20 2018
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Brazilian waterweed

Brazilian waterweed, Egeria densa (Hydrocharitaceae), is native from South America; it thrives in clear and lentic watercourses of the Paraná basin and Buenos Aires lagoons, as well as endorheic basins of Córdoba province, Argentina.  Introduced as ornamental for aquariums, it became an aggressive invader in South Africa, Australia, China, USA, Chile, New Zealand, Japan, etc. In South America is a weed in hydroelectric dams, irrigation canals and drainage canals because they affect the flow of water, and operation of turbines and locks. Brazilian waterweed reproduces vegetatively very fast, generating a large amount of biomass that affects other plant species and causing a cascading effect on the ecosystem. They also affect the recreational, industrial, and urban use of water.

Only one specific species of herbivorous insect is known to this plant, Hydrellia egeriae (Diptera: Ephydridae), distributed in Argentina. Studies in our laboratory showed that the larvae are leaf miners; they eat the mesophylum and affect the photosynthetic capacity of the plant. So far some others species found in E. densa where unspecific. Continue surveying the entomofauna and pathogens associated with this plant deserves further attention.


Staff in charge:
Guillermo Cabrera Walsh
Cooperator:
Ray Carruthers, ARS-EIWRU, Albany, California, EE.UU.