An ecosystem is as important as it is delicate and easy to disrupt. Here in Daytona, FL, we enjoy the benefits of Florida’s natural beauty and landscape that do many things from maintaining the local wildlife to functioning as a source of revenue for local businesses. Take a kayaking business, for example, who rely on the many natural rivers and glades of Florida to earn a living. This is why we at the Edenfield Corporation want to take a moment to share with you information on the impact of aquatic invasive species of plants on our ecosystem. River and lake management are huge ordeals that need more attention if we are to preserve our natural environment from damage.
What is an Ecosystem? What are Invasive Species?
An ecosystem is a kind of environmental community composed of living organisms and non-living matter. These different components all interact together and create a harmonious balance in nature. You can think of them like biological machines with various parts that serve different purposes to allow the device to function. Remember the circle of life scene in Disney’s The Lion King? That is how an ecosystem is meant to function. Disrupting that balance can wreak havoc on the species that exist in that ecosystem, including humans. Commonly, when people talk about invasive species, they’re referring to animal species that have made their way into an ecosystem they don’t belong in. Say, for example, you add in a predator that a certain kind of prey is not equipped to defend themselves against. This could endanger that population, but the damage doesn’t stop there. If that species were to become endangered or exist, that species’ natural predators and/or prey would also be affected, and thus a snowballing effect begins. While this is true for animal species, something many may overlook is that it’s also true for plant species
Kinds of Aquatic Invasive Species of Plants
When a plant is introduced into a new area where it does not normally grow, you may develop an invasive species. Usually for plants, invasive species are ones that reproduce aggressively and spread quickly. This can mean those species dominate the surrounding areas and eliminate the potential for natural biodiversity. Regarding aquatic plants, there are four main types to consider:
- Plants that largely grow entirely under water are submerged plants. These may poke out from the top of the water, but are largely underwater. Invasive submerged plants can cause problems for fish and other aquatic animals as well as making boating very difficult because of the plant’s density.
- Plants that are rooted in water but are largely above it are emergent plants. Invasive emergent plants are particularly destructive to shallow shorelines and wetland areas where they can grow freely, unlike a lake or deep river where they’re more limited.
- Floating plants are ones that aren’t necessarily rooted to the bottom of the water, though they do still have roots. Invasive species of floating plants can clutter water surfaces and drift into various waterways. They are more of a nuisance than they are destructive, but are still problematic.
- Wetland plants are ones that grow in wetland areas and provide food and shelter for certain animal species. They can have complex root systems, so an invasive species can push out natural species and dominate the area, which can impact the lives of the animals that depend on the natural plants of the area.
Contact Us for More Information on Lake Management
As you now understand, lake management and other forms of water management are essential to retaining order in our local ecosystems, for both us and other animals of the area. Combatting aquatic invasive species of plants requires knowledge to properly handle. If you’d like to learn more about how you can help control invasive plant life around the Daytona area, then contact us at Edenfield Corporation to learn more.