Invasive species are a serious issues in an established ecosystem. The trophic level - endemic plants, mammals, beetles and insects, as well as the carbon cycle - are affected.
Aquatic plants are a key biological aspect to ecosystems and give nutrients to various inhabitants. The Eurasian Watermilfoil has caused undesired effects due to the nature of their quick growth and agile passage to unwanted areas attaching themselves to boats, trailers and wet wells.
In British Columbia this has become a serious issue as the aquatic plant, having 4-leaf cross-sections having 11-16 pairs, can root themselves regardless of breaking apart. The plant is known for replacing entire indigenous aquatic plant communities, obstruct fish and fishing as well as boats and swimmers. The appeal of beaches is reduced, an economic reduction in tourism in dense populations, and causes a reduction in the control of flooding, conservation of water, drainage, and irrigation.
An ecosystem derives its venation of capabilities and limitations from many years of stability. Eurasian Watermilfoil has destabilized the ecosystems at Glen Lake, Colwood Creek, and the Esquimalt Lagoon ecosystem.
Eurasian Watermilfoil can live outside of water for up to 72 hours, which is enough time to make its way down streams and up creeks. It is not native to North America but has been found in Victoria, Okanagan, Kootenays, and many Lower Mainland bodies of water.
Prevent the spread through preventative efforts by removing excess debris and help in root removal efforts. Learn more about how to identify Eurasian Watermilfoil and report suspected infected areas to the Ministry of Environment or contact authorities in your municipality.
The following are a few websites where you can find out more about invasive species in your area:
Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species: click here
Global Invasive Species Database (GISD): click here
Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG): click here
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF): click here
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health: click here
Invasipedia: click here
Arkive: click here
Joint Nature Conservation Committee: click here
Species Surveys - Non-native Species: click here
Nonnative Species: click here