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Invasive Species - Accurate Essays

Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) is an aquatic species that dominates an ecosystem past their historical and natural range. AIS can also be referred to as non-native or exotics. Regardless of how someone calls the species, they are an escalating concern (Kovalenko et al., 2021). The study examines the reed canary grass, which is of great concern in Ontario. The long-leaved grass species that reproduces via tillers and seed particularly attacks wet areas and as it appears the invasive plant requires considerable attention to prevent further spread and invasion (Kovalenko et al., 2021). Interveners should consider some of the most effective management approaches and work towards implementing them.

Distribution of the Species

One of the aquatic invasive species in Ontario that is of much concern is the reed canary grass (Phragmites). The grass grows in a variety of conditions, but mostly prefers wet to moist soil, and is usually found thriving in wetlands, particularly along riverbanks, or in wet grassland or ditches (Anderson, 2012). The invasive species also grows in lowland pasture and other wet places. In Ontario, the grass is spreading aggressively and rapidly and is fast displacing native species in certain crucial habitats (Anderson, 2012). In Ontario, the species has attacked wet prairies, fens, wetlands, and flood plains. The problem is more serious in Southern Ontario because of historical introduction and numerous uses.

Mode of Transportation

It is believed that the invasive species in Ontario is an example of a cultivar from Europe. Various Eurasian cultivars were introduced to North America starting from the 1800s when they served as forage for livestock, and were also used for other purposes (Anderson, 2012). The grass species and look-alike species have been introduced repeatedly, and have either escaped hybridization and cultivation to become invasive over an extensive area of North America. In terms of dispersion, the rhizomes that are stems that run underground horizontally play critical functions (Anderson, 2012). Once the grass invades a place it can entirely eliminate other species of vegetation because it grows so densely.

Biology of the Organism

The reed canary grass as already mentioned reproduces through tillers or what are known as rhizomes and seeds. The stems are hollow, sturdy, and smooth, and usually has an open sheath beneath the leaf where it joins with the stem (Lavergne & Molofsky, 2004). The roots of the species are dense and grow rapidly. However, the roots do not go deep into the soil, and may penetrate only up to 5 centimeters into the soil (Lavergne & Molofsky, 2004). The leaf is 0.5 centimeters and are 2 centimeters wide. The species that mostly inhabit wet areas produce seed heads known as panicles that usually emerge early in the summer.

Ecological Impacts of the Invasive Species

It is imperative to enact suitable measures to prevent the adverse ecological effects of the reed canary grass. One of the adverse ecological outcomes of the species is that it grows very fast and in dense colonies, which causes stiff competition for nutrients and space with native species (Anderson, 2012). The reed in many instances out-competes other species. Actually, habitats with established reed canary grass have been discovered to contain little to no other native species because of the stiff competition (Anderson, 2012). The other effect is that the species has little importance for native wildlife. The species also hampers movement of fish, especially salmon, when it grows so densely.

Economic Impact of the Species

The economic effects of the invasive reed canary grass can be devastating, which calls for effective mitigation to avoid potential adversities. Many people depend on fishing activities but the practice becomes impossible when the invasive reed dominates over a water body (Lavergne & Molofsky, 2004). People who depend on fishing for their livelihood have no option but to identify alternative ways for generating income. Another potential economic impact of the species of grass is that it hampers movement across water bodies yet many people depend on this kind of transportation for their livelihood (Lavergne & Molofsky, 2004). However, the reeds could have far much more economic impact if nothing happens to regulate their spread.

Feasibility of Management Options

Interveners in Ontario have enacted various management measures that are likely to suppress further spread of the species, but this must happen proficiently to achieve impressive outcome. Various legislations exist such as the federal Species at Risk Act and the Endangered Species Act (2007) that compel project owners to adhere to municipal, federal, and provincial laws to ensure that they do not leave wet areas that could attract the reeds (Anderson, 2012). The mitigation measure is likely to achieve impressive performance if project developers are conversant with their requirements (Anderson, 2012). Moreover, the government of Ontario has adopted Best Management Practices (BMPs) designed to regulate further spread of the species, and many stakeholders believe the approach will achieve impressive outcomes in regulating the reeds.

Advice for Local Community Groups

Members of the community should take measures that would help to prevent further spread of the invasive species. A suitable mitigation measure is to engage in communal practices such as plucking the reeds before they spread to other parts (Kovalenko et al., 2021). Another suitable measure that local community groups can embrace to suppress further spread of the species is to participate in training programs that equip them with information and knowledge on how to control how the species spreads.

Question Three – Marine Protected Areas (MPA)

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are places of the ocean designated for long-term conservation objectives. MPAs encourage effective adaptation to climate changes and promotes intervention while offering other services aimed at protecting the ecosystem against potential threats. Presently, nearly 6% of the ocean is safeguarded, but also about 2% is dominated by MPAs, which calls for the establishment of more such facilities to adequately conserve aquatic resources.

Proposed Name

The proposed name for the MPA is Prince Edward Island Marine Protected Area. The name reflects three aspects; the location of the MPA, the purpose of the infrastructure (an MPA), and the fact that the province borders the Atlantic Ocean.

Benefits of MPAs Globally

Establishing MPAs have numerous gains, which is the reason why those focusing on conserving aquatic resources establish such facilities in various parts of the world. Gallacher et al. (2016) argue that MPAs help safeguard vital habitats and significant portions of marine life. Furthermore, Gallacher et al. (2016) assert that MPAs can help in restoring the productivity of water bodies and further deterioration. MPAs are also essential because they serve as vital sites for scientific exploration and can produce income via sustainable fishing practices and tourism (Gallacher et al., 2016). Hence, it is imperative to invest significantly in MPAs considering their many benefits.

Geographical Location

The MPA will be set up in Prince Edward Island. The Canadian province is among the Maritime Provinces together with Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia (LatLong, 2021). The latitude of the location is 46.250000 and its longitude is -63.000000 (LatLong, 2021). The province covers approximately 2200 square miles (LatLong, 2021). The largest city in the province is Charlottetown, but other cities such as Cornwall, Alberton, Kensington, Souris, and Summerside also form part of Prince Edward Island.

Reasoning for Selecting the Area

Various factors make the location a suitable hub for setting up the project. One of the key reasons is that the province is located near a large water body, which offers a suitable chance to offer adequate protection to the marine land (LatLong, 2021). Another prime reason for setting up the MPA in the province is that it serves as a hub for energy production, transport, and communication (LatLong, 2021). However, the fact that the province is the smallest and least populated (LatLong, 2021) creates the impression that the initiative would be more useful in other areas that are highly populated and chances of experiencing marine contamination are high. Nonetheless, the initiative would still play an equally important role in its current location.

Historical Importance of the Area

Prince Edward Island is often referred to as the Birthplace of Confederation. It gained the name after having an opportunity to host the Charlottetown Conference, which was the first meeting of Confederation. The Charlottetown Conference that happened in 1864 was a series of conventions that finally resulted in the establishment of the Dominion of Canada (Waite, 1970). A key objective for holding the historical event was to discuss the probability of unifying the Maritime Provinces (Waite, 1970). Fortunately, the event bore fruits because all stakeholders in the meeting agreed to form a new federation. The historical happening in Prince Edward Island makes the area a preferable site for establishing the conservancy.

Potential Economic Impact

The proposed MPA is likely to have both positive and negative economic implications. A positive effect is that many people are likely to secure employment in the established facility in different positions (Gallacher et al., 2016). The earnings people get by working at the facility will boost their livelihoods and of their dependents. Another economic significance of establishing the facility is that it is likely to attract other investment initiatives in the province. However, establishing the MPA in the province means that more security will be deployed in the area, a move that may deter those who earn their daily income from the water body from going about their daily operations.

Current Ecosystem Services

The authorities in Prince Edward Island have adopted various measures to foster ecosystem services in the region. The Environmental Advisory Council plays critical roles in facilitating ecosystem services in Prince Edward Island (Prince Edward Island, n.a.). The Council recently drafted a sustainable development plan for the island, which is expected to boost the progress that has been achieved in promoting sustainable practices and environmental stewardship among all areas society and all the places of the province (Prince Edward Island, n.a.). Furthermore, the government of Prince Edward Island is funding studies on various environmental issues that help to improve ecosystem services in the province.

Current Health of the Ecosystem

Prince Edward Island is home to various habitats that serve as home for a variety of animals and plants. The place exhibits a mild maritime climate, strongly impacted by warm waters found in the region (Government of Prince Edward Island, 2021). The average temperature is -70C in January and 190C in July (Government of Prince Edward Island, 2021). Establishing the facility in the province will benefit Canadians because of the increased opportunities for safeguarding not only aquatic resources but the environment as a whole.


Anderson, H. (2012). Invasive reed canary grass (phalaris arundinacea subsp. arundinacea) best management practices in Ontario. Peterborough, ON: Ontario Invasive Plant Council.

Gallacher, J., Simmonds, N., Fellowes, N., & Fellowes, H. (2016). Evaluating the success of a marine protected area: A systematic review approach. Journal of Environmental Management, 183, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.08.029

 Government of Prince Edward Island. (2021). Our changing climate. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from

Kovalenko, K., Pelicice, F., Kats, L., & Kotta, J. (2021). Aquatic invasive species: Introduction to the special Issue and dynamics of public interest. Hydrobiologia, 848(9), 1-15. doi:10.1007/s10750-021-04585-y

Lavergne, S., & Molofsky, J. (2004). Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) as a biological model in the study of plant invasions. Critical Review in Plant Sciences, 23(5), 415-429. doi:10.1080/07352680490505934

LatLong. (2021). Prince Edward Island, Canada. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from

Prince Edward Island. (n.a.). Planning for a sustainable future: A time for questions. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from

Waite, P.B. (1970). The Charlottetown Conference. Ottawa: The Canadian Historical Association.

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