Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blue Team: Christina Mattis

"We should be humble; we may never fully understand the invasion process, particularly for each of the hundreds of potentially invasive species in each of our many ecosystems. One truth is clear: as time passes, many species will spread to new areas or increase in density if controlling actions are delayed."

-Faith Thompson Campbell

My team of reporters and I recently visited Lake Alice, located in the University of Florida and learned more about this fantasying place. “Lake Alice is not a natural system, it’s more like a water retention pond, it would be considered a great place to grow weeds” Bill Haller, commented again. Going into further depth about Lake Alice, Hydrilla tended to be the key element in everyone’s discussion. Hydrilla is really considered to be the cancer disease for the lakes. Well Dr. Mike Netherland, 42, a US Army engineer for the research and development center, agrees. “That analogy is often used because it destroys the natural habitat and biological balance, spreads very quickly and doesn’t belong in Florida period”. I went around Lake Alice surveying numerous people, and asked: “if you could describe Invasive Species in three words, what would it be?

Devin Donohue, an undergraduate senior student majoring in microbiology, here at the University of Florida, responded: “HARMFUL, UNWANTED, and ACCIDENTAL”

Jeremy Slade, 31 a biological science major student put his own little twist in: “NUISANCE, PROBLEMATIC, UNDESIRABLE”

And while on the other hand, Dr. Ken Langleland, 63 paraphrase his own three words in his own little definition: “DESTRUCTIVE TO WILDLIFE”

Yes, indeed, invasive species are entering our world very quickly like a hawk flying down on its prey. Invasive Species are “non native” plants or animals that adversely affect the habitats and bioregions. They damage and invade in these areas: economically, environmentally, and/or ecologically.

Invasive Species should be a concern and be put on the president’s agenda. Why ? “Because it outcompetes native plants”, said Bill Haller, 56 a professor and acting director for the center of aquatic and invasive exotic plants. Among these invasive species are the invasive plants, which seem to rather be key interest for my story. According to the FLEPPC, Florida Exotic Pest Plant Control, approximately 1.9 million acres of Florida’s remaining natural areas have been invaded by exotic plant species and more than $240 MILLION has been spent in Florida to control invasive, exotic plant species since 1980.

One example is the Malaleuca that’s found in the Melaleuca Quinquenervia, that’s invading the South and Central Florida area rapidly. With Invasive exotic plants invading our world, it can cause:

Loss of habitat and food sources for native insects, birds, and other wildlife.

Changes to natural ecological processes such as plant community succession.

And with that, all I know is, if we don’t put a stop to it or find a better or somewhat perfect solution, our world is definitely in for a big surprise, remember Planet of the Apes? Well that will have nothing on Planet of Invasive Species.

No comments:

Post a Comment