Turtles in the Duckweed

Two big Red-bellied turtles were loving the duckweed at Wakodahatchee Wetlands.

Those tiny green spots aren’t algae. They are hundreds of leaves of the tiny plant duckweed, abundant during the summer months and less thick in the cooler months. Duckweed is important because it discourages the growth of algae by blocking out sunlight, providing food for wildlife (such as the hungry Red-bellied turtles we saw swimming in it), and cleaning the water by absorbing nitrogen and phosphorus.

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