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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Conservation officials are trying to make sure an invasive water weed discovered in southwest Missouri doesn't spread any farther.

Hydrilla is known as the "Godzilla of invasive plants" because of how it can take over a body of water and devastate fish habitat by lowering oxygen levels and eliminating fish food sources.

Missouri Department of Conservation biologist Kara Tvedt says it's not known how the weed got into Greene County ponds, but said possibilities include hitching a ride in boat bait wells or through the digestive tracts of ducks that eat it.

The Springfield News-Leader reports hydrilla was found in Greene County in late 2012. Left uncontrolled, the plant can form mats so thick that some states use special harvesting machines to cut paths for boats to pass.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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