Naturalist Perspectives Ongoing Challenge: Find an Invasive Species

80140100939680lWe won’t discuss invasive species until we get to the topic of ecology, but while there are still leaves on plants, see if you can find an invasive plant species at one of your sites (Alpha, Beta or Gamma) or elsewhere. It might be helpful to consult books like Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast and Lesley faculty like Prof. David Morimoto or Prof. Amy Mertl. Once you’ve found an invasive, do the following.

  1. In your notebook, record its specific location and physical characteristics (size, color, etc.). Once again, be sure to include the Time, Location and Weather Conditions.
  2. If you can, take a picture for documentation.
  3. Confirm the identity of the species as accurately as possible with the help of a field guide; of the characteristics you observed, which ones give you allow you state with certainty the species of this plant? The shape of the leaves? The location of the plant? Be as specific as possible.
  4. Find out about the characteristics of this species. Where did it come from? What makes it unique? What problems might it cause in areas it gets a foothold in? Is it edible?
  5. Find out if it makes an molecules that are unusual or especially useful for its survival.
  6. Summarize your responses to 1 – 5 in a blog post.
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