Invasive species can cause havoc to ecosystems.
Eradication efforts to eliminate invasive species, and even recommendations to reduce or slow the spread of invasive species, are often controversial. This controversy can slow and even stop programs and efforts to protect ecosystems.
It is important for us to remember that disruption of the balance in our ecosystems impacts our lives. What has recently happened to the fishing industry in Lake Michigan is an example of how drastically invasive species can change ecological balance and human lives.
Just a few years ago, quagga mussels were rarely found in Lake Michigan. Currently an estimated 900 trillion quagga mussels line the bottom of the lake. Each of these tiny mussels filter up to a liter of water per day. This filtering has dramatically altered the plankton population within the lake. Fishing, an industry that helped to support local communities along the lake shore for over 100 years, no longer exists. The problem is not overfishing, but a collapse in the food web that once supported the fish.
Nationwide billions of dollars are spent each year on combating invasive species. We can all help reduce the spread and introduction of invasive species by following some general guidelines, such as:
- Ensuring boats, equipment, and gear are free from invasive organisms before using in another body of water.
- Buy firewood in the same location you plan to burn it.
- Plant native plants and non-invasive plants in gardens and landscapes.
- Follow quarantine regulations.
- Do not flush or release fish or plants from tanks or ponds.
- Buy plants only from reputable and certified nurseries.
- Stay informed about local environmental issues.
Growers, policy makers, community leaders, educators, journalists, and all who are interested in the future of agriculture in Ventura County are encouraged to attend. Learn how UC researchers confront invasive species.
Symposium highlights include:
- Overview of invasive species
- Giant Reed (Arundo donax L.) invasion in Ventura County
- Aquatic invader threat to water supply and native aquatic life
- Asian Citrus Psyllid – explorations for natural enemies
- Ben Faber, Ph.D., Farm Advisor,UC Coorperative Extension-Ventura County
- Dr. Adam Lambert, Research Ecologist, Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, UCSB
- Leigh Johnson, Coastal Resources Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension-San Diego
- Mark Hoddle, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Invasive Species Research, UC Riverside
This event will be held from 8:30 am to noon at the Courtyard by Marriott in Oxnard. There is no cost to attend; however, registration is required. To learn more or to register, please visit this page of the UC Hansen Agricultural website. Questions? Please send them to email@example.com or call 805-525-9293 ext. 214.
Aquatic gardening can provide additional beauty and tranquility to outdoor space. Many beautiful plants are readily available to add to backyard ponds. It is important, however, to avoid planting invasive species.
If invasive aquatic plants escape or are dumped into local waterways, including storm drains, serious ecological and economic harm may be caused. Without containment, they may travel for many miles and have a significant impact on waterways by:
- Growing in dense stands along the shore or thick mats in open water
- Crowding out native plants
- Reducing light and oxygen levels underwater, killing fish and other aquatic life
- Clogging intake valves of irrigation systems and power plants
- Reducing access to waterways for recreational and commercial boats
- Using more water than native plants, reducing water available for other uses.
To find out which plants to avoid and other important information, please see UC’s Aquatic Gardens, Not Aquatic Pests: How to Practice Responsible Water Gardening. This information is available in Spanish and Chinese.
Beginning today and running through July 29, our office will have an invasive species display at the County of Ventura Hall of Administration building.
Viewers will learn the dangers and damage caused by these aquatic, plant and insect species and what can be done to reduce their introduction and spread. Handouts will be available for: Arundo donax, Scotch broom, New Zealand Mudsnails, Quagga and Zebra mussels, spotted winged drosophila, Asian citrus psyllid, gold spotted oak borer and redbay ambrosia beetle.
If you will not be at the government center during these dates but are interested in the information, please contact our office and we will be happy to provide the information electronically.
The global marketplace increases the likelihood of invasive pest and diseases entering California. Invasive pests and diseases can affect agricultural productivity, public health, natural resource biodiversity, and water quality and quantity.
The threat of invasive pests and disease is real in Ventura County. Please do your part in minimizing the potential impacts by:
- staying informed about local invasive pest and disease threats.
- notifying the CDFA or County Ag Commissioner if a suspected invasive pest is found.
- following guidelines and procedures designed to minimize the spread of pests and disease.
The current top invasive pest and disease threats to Ventura County, and what you can do to help, can be found on our previous blog posts.