Quick Facts


Scientific name Microseira wollei
(formerly classified as Lyngbya wollei)
Origin Asia, Africa, and Australia
Introduction Uncertain – in US >100 years
Aquatic community Submersed, not rooted / floating mats
Habitat Nutrient rich, degraded waters
Distribution Throughout Florida, mostly peninsular
Management effort Maintenance
2017 public waters / plant acres 22 / 1,155
2017 Waters / acres controlled 2 / 26 (all harvested)
Microseira wollei

Microseira wollei

Management Options

Biological Triploid grass carp ineffective
Chemical Sequential amine endothall + copper applications peroxide
Mechanical Harvest surface mats – Comb / lift submersed lyngbya from sediments
Physical Drawdowns impractical – can survive dry periods

Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Cyanobacterium (blue-green alga) associated with waters with high organic content or nutrient levels
    • Increasingly common in Florida springs and lakes / ponds with soft sediments
  • Submersed filaments expand into extensive mats especially in Florida where mats can overwinter
  • Gas bubbles float mats to surface in late spring through summer
  • Dense mats interfere with boating, fishing, swimming, and aesthetics – clog water intakes
    • blocks sunlight from reaching submersed plants
    • reduces oxygen levels by blocking the interface between the water surface and the atmosphere
  • Produces skin, liver, neuro, fish and shellfish toxins can cause gastrointestinal problems
  • Produces off-flavor compounds that imparting earthy or mush-like taste and odor to water
  • May be allelopathic
  • Algal cells reproduce and spread rapidly by water movement, boats, animals; even water droplets
  • Mucilaginous sheath makes herbicide control difficult
    • Most control involves harvesting surface mats or combing submersed mats from native plants
    • Carp will consume almost all other plants before feeding on lyngbya

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Status of the Aquatic Plant Maintenance Program in Florida Public Waters, Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2016-2017.