A Study of the Frequency of Aquatic Invasive Macrophyte Species in Small Lakes
Within the last century, the number of invasive plant, animal, and microbe species present within the United States has increased drastically. As a result, the introduction of these species has had impacts on habitats and ecosystems throughout the country. The purpose of this study was to determine if a correlation exists between the presence of aquatic invasive macrophyte species in small lakes and ponds located throughout the Northern Illinois and Wisconsin area and the location status of the test sites. Data for this study was gathered from six similarly sized bodies of water. Three of the bodies of water were located in protected (conservation) areas and served as a control group. The other three bodies of water were located in unprotected areas and served as an experimental group. The data gathered did not show a strong correlation between the presence of aquatic invasive species and the amount of human activity in the area. However, there were higher nitrogen levels recorded at sites located in unprotected areas. While higher nutrient levels can provide ideal conditions for the introduction and spread of invasive aquatic species, until more data is gathered a clear designation cannot be made as to whether or not a correlation between location status and the presence of aquatic invasive macrophyte species exists.
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