• Jen Haynes

Prevent Protect Restore

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary one of the definitions of invasive is “tending to spread especially in a quick or aggressive manner: such as of a non-native organism: growing and dispersing easily usually to the detriment of native species and ecosystems”. Habitat loss and invasive species are the two largest threats to biodiversity. A quick internet search of why biodiversity is important will bring up over 18,000,000 results. Clearly it is super important!

Preventing the spread of invasive species is the cheapest and easiest step in stopping the threat to our biodiversity. Once an invasive species is established, we then need to protect as much of the ecosystem as we can. This step can be very expensive. Take for example an invasive plant like hoary alyssum. It is toxic to horses, out-competes native flowers and grasses, and is of not much use to pollinators. This plant has seeds that will be viable in the ground for over 9 years. Mowing it down makes it spread more quickly. Pulling it out by hand is very effective but takes a lot of manual labour and needs to be done several times a year for many years. Herbicide treatment combined with increasing competition can be effective but may need to be done for a few years since the herbicides effective on hoary alyssum do not provide much residual control. There is another very important step in promoting biodiversity and that is restoring damaged ecosystems. Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers will help to restore biodiversity. Native plants, animals, birds, insects and all the microscopic things that we can’t see are all part of a bio diverse ecosystem. If you have too much of one thing nature will try to re-balance

its self. A healthy ecosystem has defenses against non-native species but if you have too many of an invasive species the ecosystem will become unbalanced and will not be able to defend itself.

For more information on how to prevent the spread of invasive species, protect our native ecosystems, and how to restore the damage done by invasive species please contact the Boundary Invasive Species Society at info@boundaryinvasives.com, 250-446-2232, on Facebook and our website www.boundaryinvasives.com.

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