Although the highly invasive water hyacinth was introduced into Florida over 30 years ago, the aquatic plant hasn’t been nearly as successful as it has been in other places such as Lake Victoria, South Africa. Despite this, Florida’s weather and conditions are optimal for sufficient growth of water hyacinth. The warm climate, high nutrient and light environment is very conducive to water hyacinth growth. Researchers Volin and Soti from the University of Connecticut and Florida Atlantic University sought to test various nutrient and herbivory levels versus water hyacinth growth to see if the specific amount of nutrients and plant removal found in Florida had a negative impact on the water hyacinth. Soti and Volin found that water hyacinth are able to survive under low amounts of plant removal no matter the nutrient level. This suggests the most effective method of removal of the plant is a high level of herbivory. This research gives great insight into future control of the highly invasive plant.
Biological Control Vol. 54 Issue:1 35-40 July 2010
Researchers A. Bradley and John F. Mustard at Brown University have done research on the dynamics of invasive plant species in order to see if more effective land management can reduce the chance of future invasions. Specifically, they studied Bromus tectorum, better known as cheatgrass. Remote sensing was used to track how likely cheatgrass expansion was in relation to how the land was cultivated, elevation, roads and several other factors. There were positive correlations between cheatgrass invasion and high elevation, close proximity to cultivated land, roads and other areas already occupied by cheatgrass. These relationships were used to create a “risk map” for future cheatgrass invasion that can help change the way land is managed for the better. This study shows the importance of including how land is used in methods to reduce plant invasions.
Ecological Applications, Pages 1132-1147(2006)
Ever since this fish’s release into the Atlantic Ocean in the late 20th century, the lionfish (Pterois volitans) has invaded coastline areas from Belize to Massachusetts. Authors Isabelle M. Cote and Aleksandra Maljkovic in their article “Predation rate of Indo-Pacific lionfish on Bahamian coral reefs” demonstrate how these fish are simply taking over many of the reefs in the Caribbean. After doing several Scuba dives off of New Providence Island, Bahamas, the researchers made several important discoveries about lionfish behavior. They saw how Lionfish in the Atlantic mainly feed during the day, unlike the native pacific population that does so at night. Finally, the authors found that the predation rates of lionfish in the Caribbean are significantly higher than the presumed rate in the eastern pacific. This final observation brought the authors to the conclusion that lionfish could be much more destructive than many scholars think. (Cote 2010)