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Ecological Value of Exotic Water Plants Equals that of Indigenous Species
When it comes to their role in aquatic ecosystems, exotic water plants are generally no different than indigenous species. In fact, they can be an asset. That doesn't mean all exotic species should be given free rein. But they can be managed more effectively if you focus on their properties and not their place of origin. Ecologist Bart Grutters (NIOO-KNAW) will defend his PhD thesis research.

Exotic species - plants and animals from other parts of the world - tend to get a bad press. But a solid ecological, scientific underpinning is often lacking. With his thesis research, Bart Grutters redresses the balance: "If you look at the role of exotic water plants in an ecosystem, you won't find any significant differences compared to indigenous species."




 
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Officials Document Water Hyacinth in Kerala since 1914 - Water hyacinth is a free floating aquatic plant that is native to South America. One of the fastest growing plants known, water hyacinth can double their population in two weeks. When not controlled, the aquatic plant will cover lakes and ponds entirely, dramatically affecting water flow, blocking sunlight from native aquatic plants and starves the water of oxygen, often killing fish and turtles.


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