By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director
Under a scientific study Funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with a Project state date of 2016 and an estimated project end date of 2019, the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) conducted research into the behavior of Hybrid Eurasian Water Milfoil (HWM), compared to Northern Eurasian Water Milfoil (NWM) and Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM).
The study, thus far, has established that HWM produced an intermediate number of stems compared to EWM and NWM. The study provided field-based evidence of hybrid vigor in HWM. Specifically, earlier and increased flowering may increase HWM spread and provide a competitive advantage over parental species. Moreover, increased surface matting may shade out native species to a greater degree than parental species.
This study further demonstrates the importance of distinguishing HWM from parental EWM and NWM, as some HWM infested lakes may require different management strategies.
HWM is best determined through genetic testing of the plants discovered in each lake. To learn more about MAISRC research and findings to date on HWM, follow this link: