Full Thread: Invasive Species
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Old February 14th, 2014 #38
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,338
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Alex Linder

From Wyoming Wildlife, November 1998:

Called "exotics," these plants, birds, mammals, aquatic creatures, even diseases, are slowly spreading across Wyoming and the West with a disastrous result. ... In the case of some trees, like tamarisk, a Eurasian native, the war might already have b een lost in the battle against a species that not only monopolizes nearby water sources with deep tap roots but also damages the soil by exuding salt.

"It just takes over, " Reg Rothwell, chief of biological services for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, says of the tree also known as "salt cedar."

"It's so aggressive that it crowds out other species, and that's kind of what's happening with Russian olive. Russian olive origianlly was felt to be a pretty valuable wildlife plant. It still has value, but when you're looking at maintaining diverse plant communities, that's really where the predominant danger comes from. Just like with cheat grass (another import). Nothing else has a chance. Cheat grass, it greens up early and forms a fairly dense stand and nothing else can compete for space and nutrients."

Russian olive, fears Rothwell, eventually is "going to take over as the predominant woody species and will really have a profound influence on understory plants."