Geo Essay #2 - Lauren Dlugosz Professor Osborne 26 March...

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Lauren Dlugosz Professor Osborne 26 March, 2008 Invasive Species in the Eastern United States The United States has long been plagued with the problematic introduction of foreign species to our various ecosystems. Today, there are about 50,000 invasive species affecting our biodiversity, and taking tolls on the health of our native species. Foreign species negatively impact American wildlife by increasing competition for food and space, changing the existing food web and physical environment, and preying on or hybridizing with native species. These plants are especially inept to overtake natural species because they are without the natural checks and balances found within their native ecosystems. An estimated twenty-five percent of our nation’s gross agricultural product is lost to them, in addition to the cost for control and prevention, which is currently about $125-140 billion dollars per year. Of course, some species are more harmful than others, such as Alligatorweed, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, and the Tree of Paradise. Fortunately, there have been success stories of eliminating and controlling these harmful introduced species. The Alligatorweed is an invasive species from South America that has an extremely negative impact on the Eastern United States, specifically the area from Virginia to Southern Florida. It grows in the form of thick mats, and displaces native plants in ditches, banks, and in shallow water. It also disrupts water flow, causing increased sedimentation, and shades the
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Geo Essay #2 - Lauren Dlugosz Professor Osborne 26 March...

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