Researchers, several agencies, and a variety of industries have grown increasingly concerned that Asian carp DNA recently found in Lake Erie points to the presence of the highly invasive species.
From the Toronto Star:
“‘There are other explanations … for how the DNA could have got there,’ said Lodge. ‘They are possible, but not plausible.’
According to Notre Dame’s Center for Aquatic Conservation, plants and animals shed cellular material (like traces of DNA) into their surrounding environment, and this material can be collected and analyzed. Environmental DNA extracted from water samples can be used to determine if a target species has been in the vicinity.
If toxic blue-green algae are the biggest threat to the lake’s survival, Asian carp are a close second.
Asian carp are a group of highly invasive bottom feeders that have infiltrated the waterways of the American Midwest. The fear is they could disrupt Lake Erie’s ecology if they increase to large numbers.”
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