island conservation invasive species growing concern

Invasive Plant Species a Growing Concern

Invasive plant species  can degrade ecosystems, as is the case in British Columbia. 

When it comes to invasive species, prevention and early treatment are much better options than delaying intervention. This is true of invasive animals and plants alike. Todd Larsen, executive director of the East Kootenay Invasive Species Control, said:

We deal with dozens of different [invasive] species throughout the course of the season, but a big priority is trying to prevent new ones from becoming established. It’s a lot easier to deal with a few plants than when they take off.

island conservation east kootenay

East Kootenay is threatened by invasive plants. Credit: Carolien Coenen

In many cases, invasive species are tough and proliferate quickly. These traits enable them to establish themselves in new ecosystems and out-compete natives. Larsen pointed out:

Non-native plants can drastically alter a plant community and change it from either a high-forge value grassland, or a biologically diverse ecosystem to the monoculture of knapweed which doesn’t serve much of an ecosystem function.

Invasive species can take over ecosystems quickly; intervention is absolutely necessary to protect biodiversity and prevent extinctions.

Featured photo: East Kootenay. Credit: Jon Watts
Source: The Free Press

About Sara Kaiser

Sara received a BA in anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 2014. As a freelance writer and editor, she seeks to produce and highlight stories that support ecological responsibility, body awareness, emotional intelligence, and creative action, and reveal the connections between them.

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