Dealing with Invasive Species

Invasive species
are foreign organisms that take up residence in ecosystems where they didn't initially evolve. They decimate crops, displace native populations, can spread disease, and cost the economy billions of dollars.

It is estimated that since Columbus, approximately 30,000 species of imported plants, animals, and microbes have become established in North America. In some cases they were purposely introduced, but in others, they have stowed away on ships, airplanes, and unsuspecting humans.

One such invasive species is the leafy spurge, a weed that quickly spreads due to its underground root system and long-lived seeds. An increase in leafy spurge has caused an increase in various pests and parasites. The following video describes the efforts undertaken to reduce the leafy spurge population in the United States.

Sources: "Biological Invaders." Teachers' Domain. 26 Sep. 2003. Web. 9 Aug. 2011. and (attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives)
Last modified: Monday, 31 October 2011, 4:43 PM