Pointers on Invasive Plant Species

What is an invasive plant?

  • Accidentally or purposefully introduced from another part of the country or another country/continent
  • Can be referred to as exotic, alien, introduced, non-native

Characteristics of Invasive Plants

  • noted for ability to spread aggressively, and rapidly
  • spread by seeds, shoots, roots or all 3
  • have no predators in their new location, spread and displaces other plants
  • adaptable; with a higher rate of mutation than natives

Where do they come from?

  • Introduced from other parts of country; other countries/continents
  • Imported on purpose as food, ornament, or to serve a purpose (to prevent soil erosion-kudzu)
  • Accidental introduction in; bilge water, packing material, gravel, sand, soil, feed stocks, by travelling construction equipment, animals

Why are invasive plants a problem?

  • Out-compete natives, forms a mono culture
  • An alien plant invasion changes the ecosystem by changing the light, soil composition and temperature, micro-organisms in the soil, water availability, air temperature levels of the area
  • Changes the quality and availability of food, water, nesting sites, perching sites, for animals, birds, insects = HABITAT LOSS

Common invasive plants you may know

  • Goutweed, Aegopodium podagraia; Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolate; Himalayan Balsam, Impatiens glandulifera; Dog-strangling vine, Cynanchum rossicum; common reed, Phragmites australis; Norway Maple, Acer platanoides

Further information

Website of the Ontario Invasive Plant Council http://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca

Website of the Canadian Council on Invasive Species http://www.canadainvasives.ca

Website of Nature Conservancy Canada http://www.natureconservancy.ca

Book: Invasive Plants Second Edition by Dr.Sylvan Ramsey Kaufman and Wallace Kaufman. Published by Stackpole Books, 2012

Ssubmitted  by Leslye Glover