An invasive species of plant or animal can quickly wreak havoc on an area’s ecological system. These invasive species can do everything from depleting oxygen to decimate native animals through predation. Here’s a look at some of the most notorious native species in the United States and the negative effects they have on the environment.
The Alabama Bass is pretty closely related to the spotted bass, but it’s definitely not the same fish. What’s more, where many of the species on this list hail from far away places like China, the Alabama Bass didn’t have to travel very far to invade other waterways. It originated in the rivers of Alabama and Northwest Georgia, and now it can be found in other rivers not too far away like the Mississippi. The biggest impact is that the Alabama Bass is taking over the gene pool through its aggressive mating and near eradication of other species. Efforts are underway to restock waterways with native species to help reverse the impact.
The Chinese Privet is a thick hedge plant that originated from (you guessed it) China. It was imported to the U.S. from Europe back in the mid-1800s. Because this plant is so dense, it can actually rob other native species of much-needed sunlight. Essentially, this plant will kill anything underneath it that requires any sort of substantial UV rays. Birds will eat the seeds of the plant, and they tend to be messy eaters. As the seeds are dropped, new batches of the plant sprout up, increasing how quickly this plant spreads.
This is one that fisherman and other fans of watersports absolutely loathe, at least in big batches. This plant started out as an aquarium plant in South Florida, where it was imported from India and Korea. People dumped their aquariums out in big waterways, and the plant thrived. Like the Chinese Privet, Hydrilla grows so thick that it robs other marine plants of valuable sunlight. It can also change the chemical makeup of water and its oxygen levels.