Saturday, September 03, 2005

Rolling the Dike

The International Association for Great Lakes Research has a story about a recently published study pointing to wetland dikes around the Great Lakes as a harbinger of invasive species. Turns out that the dikes, built to stabilize the wetlands for waterfowl and still water plants such as cattails, also allow nutrients to build up and species such as purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) to thrive. Native plants, having evolved with a cycle of natural disturbance caused by tides and flooding, were less common when species diversity was compared to that of undiked wetlands. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a link to the article abstract.

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