University of Florida

Hygrophila: Introduction

Hygrophila polysperma is an invasive aquatic weed in Florida that is native to the southeastern Asiatic mainland.

Similar to many invasive aquatic plants, it was brought to the United States by the aquarium trade. With its fast growth and rapid spread, hygrophila has the potential to outcompete other aquatic plants in lotic fresh water habitats and structured shorelines. Besides Florida, invasive populations of hygrophila have been found in Texas, South Carolina and Mexico.   

 

Ongoing Activities

  • An artificial defoliation experiment was conducted to estimate the effect of herbivory on hygrophila.
  • Spacial models were developed to delineate areas in the native range with climates similar to areas the weed has invaded in the USA for exploration for natural enemies.
  • The molecular genetics of hygrophila were investigated to determine its invasion history.

 


Photo Credits: Abhishek Mukherjee