Water Hyacinth

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Water Hyacinth

Ontario's Invading Species Awareness ProgramOISAP is an organization based in Ontartio whose goal is to prevent the introduction of invasive species into our delicate ecosystem. Their efforts have resulted in the involvement of numerous community groups and like-minded organizations. Their ability to inform the public with invasive species awareness billboaords has helped get early detection of new invasive species. Their actions have helped cut down on the destruction in Canadian ecosystems caused by invasive species such as Water Hyacinth. This also aids in the survival and preservation of our native species. (b.)

Impact:Water Hyacinth's thick leaves block out sunlight for other organisms living in the shared ecosystem. The feathery roots act as a mesh that can trap organisms; they block water ways and reduces oxgen levels in the water. Water hyacinth increases the chance of catching diseases by creating a prime habitat for disease vectors such as mosquitoes. This can can lead to migration of native species and death. (a.)

Do Your PartInvasive species kill off native species and destroy the balance of the foreign ecosystem that they have infested.- to report a citing contact invasive species hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or report it online- never dispose of unwanted plants by dumping in natural waterbodies - only plant native and non-invasive plants in water gardens- travel at a lower speed in infected waterbodies to prevent prevent spreading the organism (b.)See http://www.invadingspecies.com/ for more imformation and tips on how you can help. (c.)

Story of SuccessWater Hyacinth is a highly adaptable plant. It can withstand extreme temperatures and grow in toxic water. It is the fastest known growing plant; it can double its population in as few as 6 days. The native plants have to fight for nutrients, space and sunlight. However, it's intrusive manner gives it an unfair advantage. (a.)

Introduction:Water Hyacinth or Eichhornia crassipes is an invasive, free-floating, aquatic plant. It's overbearing prescence in foreign regions choke out the native species and clog their water ways. (a.)

Water Hyacinth

Map of Distribution

How to Identify It:- dark green, glossy, thick ovate leaves- may rise aboove water as much as 1m- leaves range from 10-20cm across- leaves float above water- round spongy stalks - free hanging feathery roots; black and purple- one stalk has 8-16 flowers- flowers are lavender pink-violet, 6 petals - when not in bloom it can be mistaken for frog's-bit (b.)

Origin & Ditsibution:Water Hyacinth is native to South America and most dense in the Amazon. It was introduced to Canada in 1884 via South American travelers who wished to use the the plant as an ornamental plant. (b.)

Eichhornia crassipes

Niche:Water Hyacinth's primary purpose is to provide food for it's predators (e.g. birds, fish). It's feathery roots also act as a filtration system for the water it lives in. This can be helpful or disruptive to the ecosystem. (a.)

Citations:a. http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/141b. http://www.invadingspecies.com/c. http://www.invadingspecies.com/



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