Monday, September 13, 2010

What is an invasion plant species?

An invasive species is one that spreads and establishes over large areas and persists. Invasiveness may be characterized and enhanced by robust vegetative growth, high reproductive rate, abundant seed production, high seed germination rate, and longevity. They may crowd out and replace native species to the detriment of plant diversity.
Below is purple loosestrife, a plant that has escaped from cultivation in gardens. It now invades northern Ohio's wetlands, marshes, ditches, riverbanks and wet meadows, forming nearly pure stands. It spreads aggressively by underground rhizomes, and can produce up to a million seeds per plant.

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