Water-loving invasive species are all capable of damaging wetland ecosystems. Invasive species tend to form monocultures or fields of only themselves. This lowers the biodiversity and resilience of the ecosystem. We want biodiverse ecosystems, as this allows for resilience and resistance to changes in the environment such as drought, excessive water, changes in nutrient levels, changes in the timing of weather, changes in temperature, etc. Biodiverse ecosystems are also resistant to invasive species. Unfortunately, many wetlands and other ecosystems are under threat from humans and our activities. Farming runoff can add extra nutrients, developments can divert water and climate change is changing weather patterns and temperatures. We can help wetlands by reducing the threats they face, such as invasives. Wetlands provide many ecosystem services to us, such as retaining water for drier seasons, providing places of natural beauty and providing habitat for wildlife, both local and migratory.
Some examples of invasive plants impacting wetlands:
Left: Flowering Rush can be identified by its long thin leaves and small clustered pink flowered. Flowering rush is an early detection, rapid response species.
Center: Reed Canary Grass is identified by its hollow stems and open sheath. Blades are 0.5m by 2m. The stems can grow up to 2m tall. The plant flowers from May to June and turns from green to purple then to straw-coloured as its fruit matures.
Right: Yellow flag Iris can be identified by its bright yellow iris flower, as it is the only yellow iris found in BC.