Charity Reece

Keaau, HI, United States

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Charity Reece
Posted over 3 years ago
Are you concerned about the spread of invasive species?
I live in Hawaii, where invasive species is almost an everyday topic. I've seen first hand that not all species were invasive at one point. Hawaii has an endemic hibiscus, among many other plants. Very little grows on fresh lava flows. Ferns and Ohia are the first things to grow. It is possible to have only native plants in an area, but humans have to leave that area alone. Humans, birds and the ocean are the great seed carriers. I live in one of Hawaii's last rainforests and when I look out into my yard, I see a variety of native, indigenous, endemic and invasive. The strawberry guava is one of the worst. Not only does it canopy and spread like fire, but it's leaves also add acid to the ground, so that nothing can grow in it's place. Hawaii has struggled for decades, if not centuries, to preserve the native flora/fauna. You can look at the history to see how things have been bio-controlled here with little success. Usually what ends up happening is, whatever thing you bring to control the invasive thing, becomes invasive itself (i.e. mongoose). Kipuka are a great example of endemics. There's a hau variety that lives only in one kipuka near Kilauea. So what do we do to keep the invasive species down? I think we should study these plant more and maybe we could find a use, then encourage exploitation in the areas where they're invasive, creating benefit out nuisance.