Biological weed control

Biological weed control

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Biological weed control. Violet aeolid sea slug (Flabellina affinis) feeding on a seaweed. This is a true sea slug or nudibranch, which has no shell or true gills and instead breathes through body projections. It is grazing on a alien seaweed (Caulerpa taxifolis) that has colonised vast areas of the Mediterranean Sea. Its rapid growth and spread has resulted in the death of many native plants. Most animals are unable to eat it due to the toxins it contains. The violet aeolid sea slug is immune to these toxins, and has been suggested as a form of biological pest control, but it is feared that introducing another alien species may have unforeseen consequences.

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Keywords: agricultural, agriculture, alga, alien, animal, biological, biological pest control, caulerpa taxifolia, eating, feeding, flabellina affinis, green algae, marine, mollusca, nature, noxious, nudibranch, ocean, pest, pest control, sea slug, seaweed, submerged, toxic, underwater, violet aeolid, water, weed, wildlife, worst invasive alien species, zoology

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