US Lakes Threatened by Water Flea

25.03.2016

Freshwater crustaceans caught in North America from Europe and Asia, along with the ballast
water of ships, are causing serious damage to the ecosystem. Invasive species are destroying
plankton feeding on algae, and the water in lakes becomes less transparent.

US Lakes Threatened by Water Flea
15mm crustacean Bythotrephes longimanus (bitotref long-armed) is also known as the water
flea. Biologists have found that the first alien species spread in the Great Lakes, and then in
other US waters, where it has no natural enemies. As a result, the crystal clear water began to
thicken. For example, the transparency of water in Lake Mendota (Wisconsin) was decreased by
meter since 2009. Against the background of water pollution by sewage containing phosphorus, the increase in the number of algae cused by the invasion of fleas can lead to catastrophic consequences, the researchers note.