Invasive Species

In the past, BMP’s had good intention but resulted in a detriment to the native landscape. Unknowingly certain plants, Kudzu for example, were introduced into the landscape for the sole purpose of erosion control (Miller). Locally Chinese Lespedeza, which resembles sumac and is probably often identified as such, was introduced for the same reason and can be found along the banks of the Tye. As these plants establish themselves, they begin invading and dominating the native flora. Japanese Stilt Grass is found in moist environments and invades riverbanks while lacking the benefits of the grasses that are native to the river’s ecosystem. Spotted Knapweed is also a rampant invasive species on the banks of the Tye River. This aggressive seed spreader takes moisture and nutrients from the soil leaving an intolerable environment for native plants ( A question of whether the invasive species are all bad is found in bank stabilization and adapted habitat. Often a bank’s only stability is provided by the aggressive root systems of the non-native vegetation. However, the problem with invasive plant species as bank stabilization lies in their ability to outcompete native vegetation. The invasive plants are often very aggressive in their root systems and seed distribution. This can allow them to take over an entire landscape and deplete the resources necessary for native vegetation. If the invasive species becomes prevalent over the native species, this will minimize diversity, thus affecting the wildlife that depends on it for food and shelter. When the wildlife in the riparian zone alter their living habits the entire riverine ecosystem suffers (Kercher).