Aquatic Invasive Species: Part 1

Nature Academy

What are aquatic invasive species? They can be plants, animals (like fish or turtles) or even bacteria/viruses that are introduced, either accidentally or intentionally, into aquatic ecosystems that they are not native to. Since they are so finely balanced, the introduction of any aquatic invasive species into an ecosystem has the potential to be very damaging.

One example of an aquatic invasive species is the purple loosestrife. Introduced in the United States in the 1800s for ornamental and medicinal purposes, this plant now out-competes many native grasses, sedges and other flowering plants. Once purple loosestrife is introduced to an area it will take over, which means less food and habitat for local wildlife.

purple loosestrife cluster

So what can you do to help check the spread of aquatic invasive species? Check back later this week for Part 2!

Nick Mercer, Stewardship Technician