Invasive Species of the Bog
We hope you DON'T see these species on your visit to the Delta Nature Reserve!
Burns Bog is a delicate ecosystem that unfortunately experienced resource extraction in the past. Peat was harvested, and as a result, the land was scarred, species were displaced, and habitat was lost. Disturbed land creates the conditions where invasive species thrive. These non-native plants have specific adaptations that allow them to outcompete local species, resulting in a less productive and less diverse habitat.
Native to Armenia and Northern Iran, this plant is cultivated in some areas for its berries, but is largely seen as a weed. Spreading underground and through seeds in animal feces, this plant is incredibly challenging to control with its fast growth. Cutting, burning, and most herbicides are largely ineffective for removal.
As its names suggests, this plant is native to the Himalayas, though it now has spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It tends to grow near water sources like rivers and bogs. However, this plant promotes riverbank erosion, causing flooding in some areas. Using explosive seed dispersal, it competes with native species.
This species does well following fires, spreading through roots in the ground. Once the ground is bare, these roots shoot up and grow into full trees. Each tree can create over 10 new trees that act as giant straws, sucking water from the ground. This promotes succession in ecosystems, shifting lands from bogs to forests.
Native to Europe, in its non-native lands of North America, it has spread quickly. Its berries are poisonous to people but not birds; this allows its seeds to be spread a great distance through bird feces. An incredibly adaptive plant, it is able to grow in shade or sun, its roots competing with native plant species for nutrients and water.
Native to the Mediterranean, this plants grows primarily in wetlands and along streams, with the ability to spread very quickly. Its spread prevents the growth of other native species, reducing biodiversity. As it does not grow well in dense vegetation, propagation of established vegetation can help control its spread.
While native to America, this frog has become one of the world’s top 100 invasive species. With the ability to deposit upwards of 20,000 eggs, they multiply rapidly. With a varied diet, including other frogs, they decimate native populations and ecosystems. While not a major issue in Burns Bog, it could become one.
Native to the eastern parts of North America, this species lives in wetlands or areas it can find shallow freshwater ponds. Very opportunistic to colonize new habitats, they cause damage to native species through competition of space and resources, as well as through potential spreading of infectious diseases.
Though Native to eastern North America, this squirrel has become one of the world’s top 100 invasive species. This species has displaced not only native squirrels but also native birds from their habitat through competition and diseases. They can also damage, and sometimes kill, plants and trees by stripping and chewing off the bark.
Although only one individual tractor exists in Burns Bog, this species represents a much larger threat facing the Bog, and that is the destructive nature of human development. This species is responsible for the loss of nearly half of the area of historic bog lands. Like many other invasive species, this individual was introduced by human activity. Join us on a Tour or Field Trip to see how this tractor came to exist in Burns Bog.