Non-Native Plants Invasive Plants Alien Plants Exotic Species
Feb. 3, 1999 “President Clinton signed an executive order to coordinate a federal strategy to address the growing environmental and economic threat of invasive species, plants and animals that are not native to ecosystems of the United States.” "This is a unified, all-out battle against unwanted plant and animal visitors that threaten to wreak major economic and environmental havoc." “Some experts estimate the cost to the American economy to be as high as $123 billion a year.”
The zebra mussel can shut down electrical utilities and power plants primarily by clogging water intake pipes. Millions is spent every year cleaning out the zebra mussels from their plants, retrofitting the plants to keep the zebra mussels out or on efforts to monitor them. There are no natural predators for them in the Great Lakes. They have caused billions in damages. Image Source: GeraldM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File: Dreissena_polymorpha.jpg Zebra Mussel
The Asian long-horned beetle infested over 2,000 trees in Brooklyn, New York. More than 2000 trees had to be destroyed. The cost to the federal and state governments: over $5 million. Image Source: U. S. Department of Agriculture
Invading sea lampreys caused the collapse of lake trout and other Great Lakes fisheries, costing the U.S. and Canada $13 million annually to control. Image Source: U.S. Geological Survey Image Source: Environmental Protection Agency
Leafy spurge causes more than $144 million in livestock forage damage each year in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Image Source: Kristian Peters -- Fabelfroh 5 July 2005 18:18 (UTC) (Wikipedia) Source for maps and valley image: http://www.team.ars.usda.gov/v2/distrib ution.html
Feb. 3, 1999 “President Clinton signed an executive order to coordinate a federal strategy to address the growing environmental and economic threat of invasive species, plants and animals that are not native to ecosystems of the United States.” "This is a unified, all-out battle against unwanted plant and animal visitors that threaten to wreak major economic and environmental havoc."
www.nps.gov/plants/alien The Union of Concerned Scienctists has stated the spread of invasive plants "one of the preeminent environmental problems of the 21st century.” - Heather Millar
Invasive Plant Facts... 50% of all endangered animals are adverserly affected by invasive plants $120 billion is spent each year to control invasive species in the U.S. 126,000,000 acres of land are affected by just 16 different invasive plants in the U.S. alone Source: Invasive Species, By the Numbers." Electric Perspectives 31.3 (2006): 19. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 20 Mar. 2010.
Channing Cope The Media “Kudzu King” “Cotton isn't king here [in the South] any more. Kudzu is king." Cope’s Kudzu Club of America: "A strange ecstasy lifts Southern growers' hearts and exalts their language when they get together to praise kudzu" (quoted in Lord 1945, 95-96).” (Copeland, 1945) Alderman, D. (2004). CHANNING COPE AND THE MAKING OF A MIRACLE VINE. Geographical Review, 94(2), 157-177. Retrieved from Science & Technology Collection database (GALILEO).
Piedmont Park, Atlanta Source: Wikikpedia. “I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kudzu_on_trees_in_Atlanta,_Georgia.jpg
Kudzu Flower Was a “Miracle Vine” Now a “Pest” Alderman, D. (2004). CHANNING COPE AND THE MAKING OF A MIRACLE VINE. Geographical Review, 94(2), 157-177. Retrieved from Science & Technology Collection database (GALILEO). “Time Magazine (1999) cited the introduction of kudzu to America as one of the one hundred worst ideas of the past century, along with asbestos, DDT, Prohibition, the Titanic, telemarketing, and The Jerry Springer Show.”
7,000,000 acres of land are infested by kudzu in the Southeastern US. The US did not declare kudzu to be a weed until 1970.
English Ivy Spreads by runners Birds spread the seeds Covers tree canopies Slowly kills trees Grows along the ground displacing understory plants Native to Europe Brought by early settlers Small roots produce a glue- like substance
Aliens Attacking our National Parks Top Reasons for Plant extinction: #1 Habitat destruction #2 Invasive plants #3 Overexploitation #4 Disease 230 National Parks are under attack NPS has 17 Rapid Response Teams to try and erradicate invasive plants 2. 6 million acres have been invaded $2,000,000 annually to stop the attacks "WHEN ALIENS ATTACK. (cover story)." Sierra 89.4 (2004): 30. MasterFILE Premier. 20 Mar. 2010.
Good Intentions? Plant nurseries have been blamed for selling invasive plants and making a profit from their sale. Landscape designers are not always aware that they are planting invasive plants which generate complaints from customers. The government itself has played a part in the problem as they have chosen the wrong plants not understanding the problems they would cause in the future.
A Japanese Spirea Bush in bloom in the Spring. Atlanta
Landscapers, our government, the public, nurseries… who owns the problem? No one plant in a landscape should overtake another plant over time in a landscape design. Our government has planted invasives at times to prevent soil erosion, to grow in difficult conditions along highways, etc. The plants seemed okay at the time…
Legal Weeds Non-native plants sold in nurseries: Russian olive Japanese Spurge English ivy Chinese and Japanese privets The public demands unusual plants not understanding that they are invasive or non-native.
Science Fair Project Teen scientist, Inventor Kills Kudzu ( by Dean Poling, The Valdosta Daily Times. May 24, 2010) Jacob Schindler, a 16 year old Georgia student, designed a product to kill kudzu using helium. His device allows him to drill into the ground and distribute helium from a small tank to kill kudzu. The hellium does not reportedly harm other plants. http://valdostadailytimes.com/local/x1414113 336/An-Ivy-League-of-His-Own
In 2009, the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources targeted more than 180 invasive species threatening Georgia native wildlife. On a national scale, the economic losses and environmental damage caused by exotic species total approximately $120 billion a year.