Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Do we have anything to fear from invasive didymo in the South?

I recently posted an article from The New York Times on Didymosphenia geminata also known as didymo or rock snot. A friend emailed me and asked if we have anything to fear from this species in Georgia. Unfortunately there isn't an easy answer to this question. This species is usually found in cooler waters than we have here in the South, but the changes which have allowed this species to become an invasive problem are not yet understood. One theory is that the invasive didymo is a genetic variant which has broader tolerances than it did previously Kilroy, 2004. So the bottom line is get rid of felt soled boots, thoroughly clean clothing and equipment after fishing, swimming or boating. Those of us who care about and use these waterways and other natural areas should be the first ones to step up and do what we can to protect and preserve them. For more information on Didymosphenia geminata click here.