When you look at insects, plants, and animals, one might begin to wonder what their origin is. Environmentalists are usually in the best position to answer these types of questions. They know if a species is invasive and can be found almost everywhere.
Before going into the real topic, it is important to understand the meaning of invasive species. There are basically four types of species and they include an introduction, exotic, alien, and invasive species.
Invasive species are not native and they usually have a negative effect on the environment. For instance, potatoes are an introduced species which first originated from South America and then spread throughout North America and Europe.
Potatoes don’t have a negative effect. For example, it is easy to live in a world where there are no French fries. Potatoes are both introduced and non-native. They are beneficial to the places they are introduced. Many weeds are also an invasive species that can affect plants from growing. An example of this type of weed can be seen in Giant Hogweed which causes major damages for farmers.
The extent of the negative effect of an invasive species is usually dependent on the particular species. Some of these species can come about from the farm, garden, on a boat or any other means.
The ecosystem needs to take a lot of time before it can be able to manage the species that exist and keep them in check. Animals like wolves have evolved for many years and they usually hunt for deer as well as buffaloes. These animals will not still relent even if it was elephants that were to be hunted in place of the buffaloes.
The wolves will still struggle to hunt. This is usually what happens when a new species is introduced. Invasive species can take over the whole ecosystem if it is unchecked and they will eventually cause serious damage. Studies have shown that the rate at which invasive species spread has caused a setback for up to 42% of threatened species. In the United States alone, these invasive species have caused damage that is estimated at $120 billion.
Most of these damages are seen in areas of agriculture but many of these invasive species also affect negatively the ecosystem in other areas. To better understand the extent of damage these invasive species can do, we will categorize into three species. These are the Zebra Mussels, Varroa Mites, and Emerald Ash Borer.
They are invasive freshwater mussels that originated from Eastern Europe. They usually spread over water bodies at a very high speed and can cover the lakes and reservoirs very quickly.
The negative effect of these mussels on water is easily noticeable. They quickly get attached to rocks, docks, and infrastructure at the lake bottom. They also attach themselves to native mussels and end up suffocating then by feeding off from their nutrients. Zebra Mussels also reduce the population of crawfish and snails.
These invasive species after not only water bodies but they also affect agriculture. They arise by accident and are mostly seen where bees lay their larva because they feed on this larva to reproduce. They affect the production of food in many countries across the world.
Emerald Ash Borer
It is a small green Beatle that came from Eastern Asia. They are known to infect and kill ash trees. The Ash Borer has killed millions of these types of trees. They pose a great threat to the forest.
These invasive species can cause great harm to the environment and we can do a lot by protecting plants, animals and the whole ecosystem from them.