Discuss the characteristics that make invasive species so successful.
An invasive species refers tio a type of flora or fauna that dominates a particular environmental setting. This can be plant or animal, and they tend to share the following common characterisitcs in their ability to dominate the existing competition for survival:
1. asexual/sexual reproduction; 2. fast growth; 3. rapid reproduction; 4. high dispersal rate; 5. phenotypic plasticity (ability to alter growth form); and 6. tolerance of a wide range of existing conditions.
A good example of an animal that qualifies as an invasive species is deer. The deer population in recent years has exploded due to a lack of hunting activity. Deer populations have moved into suburban settings, into areas that once were there homes. It is common to see deer crossing major highways as a regular occurrence.
A good example of a plant invasive species is Kudzu. Kudzu will take over landscapes, climb hillsides, climb and choke out trees. The only way we found to combat Kudzu on our small farm was to have our pigs on the same land. Pigs will root out Kudzu at the ground level, killing the plant that is in the trees out of their reach. Otherwise, Kudzu will take every square inch of ground available.