Invasive Species

The problems with invasive species have existed for a long time. From the kindly lady bug to the odoriferous stink bug, we see how these species can take over the environment that they were brought into. The stink bug stink bugcame to the United States by accident. But the lady bug Thirsty_Lady_Bugs_(5897430351)was introduced to perform a specific function. The lady bug was brought here to help us fight off aphids. Aphids are known to destroy many plants and other crops.  But here’s the thing, both lady bugs and stink bugs are causing a problem. They are both overgrowing their new environment. 

Insects aren’t the only type of organisms that have made their way across the sea to find new homes in the United States. Plants have done the same thing. The Kudzo vine has been introduced as a method of protecting the soil from being carried away by the wind. This was important since the United States had experienced the horror of wind erosion during the time of the Dust Bowl. kudzucabin-h

Today students are testing the Hackensack River for invasive species as well. The river is known for it’s Grass shrimp .Grass shrimp closeup Unfortunately the river’s ecosystem and the habitat of the Grass shrimp is being threatened by the Japanese shrimpjapanese shrimp and the Baltic Prawn.

baltic prawn These shrimp were introduced by accident when ships empty their ballast tanks  while in port in Newark Bay or New York Harbor.

To read about this wonderful initiative taken on by the students from Hackensack visit: http://www.northjersey.com/news/environment/testing-the-waters-for-invasive-species-non-native-shrimp-threaten-local-ecosystems-1.1040357 .

Readorium/Rising Reader libraries have books on invasive species and the problems they cause to the environments they are introduced to. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about our environment and these amazing organisms.

 

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