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Invasive Species

The invasive species can be defined as a plant or an animals that has a tendency to dominate and quickly spread in an area where it is not native but is introduced. The invasive species are believed to cause harm to the environment. The study if the invasive species is important since it is a threat to the biodiversity of the United States, and it causes the degradation of the habitats. Some of the invasive species can become a threat to human beings and their health and, therefore, cost the United States Government billions of dollars in controlling them. The global warming has contributed to the impact of the invasive species in the ecosystem and wildlife.

In this case, we will study the Lesser celandine that is also known as the fig buttercup. It is a herbaceous plant that is in the Ranunculaceae family. It is a groundcover growing type of weed that is large and dense forming the patches of green compact plants in the garden and forest floors. It displaces various plants from co-occurring. The leaves of the Lesser celandine are shiny and dark green with the shape of a kidney.

Why is the experiment is a useful?

The Lesser celandine is difficult to control due to the large root structures that aid the plant in reproduction and spreading.therefor its study helps us gain various strategies that may help us monitor the spread of the weed. Effective strategies need to be made so as to protect the woodland understory species in the affected regions. The lesser celandine has an ephemeral nature that reduces according to the bio-control options. All the parts of the R. ficaria are said to be harmful in nature.

The Bulbil Germination in the invasive species Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria).

Once the plant has established, the plants expand its vegetative cover with extensive clonal stands that form monocultures that cover out the floor plants. The basal tubers first develop adventitious roots, and the buds that are auxiliary are on the basal leaves. The tubers are later formed, and they aid the appearance of the new roots and the new buds on the existing tubers. The tubers enter a phase where they rest, and this period ends at the end of May after six months. Smaller buds may also appear after this stage.

The flowers of this plant are yellow in color, and they are each of about 2 to 6 cm wide. They rise singly above the petals to about 10 to 30 cm tall. The leaves of the flowers are obviated, and they have a whitish color as they age. The number of the leaves varies from species to species with some even displaying up to 60 petals in one flower. The root is dense so as to anchor the plant firmly with tubers that are 5 to 100 mm long. Some subspecies from pale blue bulbils in the leaf axils after flowering.

The lesser celandine emergence is said to be stimulated by the increase of the availability of light within the leafless canopies in the forestry habitats. All the five subspecies of the R. ficaria are present in the United States. Most growth of the Lesser celandine takes place when the availability of light is high and the temperature transaction from the winter season to the spring season. During the summer months, the plants become dormant. The production of the flower varies between the five different subspecies. They appear to be correlated with the availability of water. The plants from the R. ficaria subspecies reproduce almost exclusively through the negative propagation and produce a large number of seeds. The plant is extremely harmful to the native forests, and it quickly escapes from the gardens and easily takes over the understory of forests.

The other subspecies produce viable seeds, unlike the R. ficaria subspecies that produces the viable seeds. Even in the viable seeds the embryo does not fully develop after it is shed from the plant, and it requires a period of ripening to ensure that the plant matures. The resting buds turn green and begin elongating around the month of December with a number of adventitious roots starting to develop. In the month of January, the foliage leaves begin to unfold. The bulbils that develop in the axils of the leaves are similar to those of the basal tubers. The aerial bulbils of the plant that are formed, store starch and they have buds that are adventitious and analogous to the subterranean tuberous roots. The only difference between the two is the negative geotropism of the bulbils. The bulbils originate from the auxiliary buds while the root develops from a terminal bud.

The plant is an unusual dicotyledon with seedlings that have a single cotyledon and produces primarily through dispersion on the tubers. The establishment of the plant is through seeds although the roots can be carried by the soles of boots, hooves, and tires. The earliest collection of these plants in the United States was in the year 1867.

What particular type of harm they are expecting to cause?

The invasive species pose a threat to the environment. Their existence can compete with the native species found in an area and end up killing or displacing them. By doing so, the food in the wildlife is reduced and so is the natural habitat for most of the wildlife. Some of the invasive species have the potential to disrupt various ecosystem functions that are vital such as the water flow, nutrient cycling and the decomposition of soil. Some invasive species lead to massive damage to the economy and cause direct harm to the animals and the human beings at large

The ephemeral growth vegetation and habit make the lesser celandine a weed that is problematic. All the subspecies appear to be similar in the dispersal capabilities through the tubers that spread and making them troublesome. The plants that produce the bulbils are the ones that most likely greater in dispersal capability than those that do not have this features. This species occupies more forest floors and forms dense carpet-like colonies that are liable to prevent the establishment of other species in the woods so as to complete the life cycles. The bulbils are believed to have spread after they are carried accidentally by animals and also when they are transported by water and, therefore, increase its chances to colonize the riverbanks.

What could be the benefits of the invasive species?

The documentation by human beings has based the uses of the lesser celandine as a foodstuff and also for medicinal purposes. The tubers at the young stage were eaten when raw or even boiled and later consumed as a vegetable. It can be used medicinally as a treatment for hemorrhoids and also the treatment of scurvy in young children due to its high vitamin C content. The plant is also recommended in the herbal guides for the treatment of hemorrhoids in ointments and also in creams that are applied to the affected areas. The leaves of the Lesser celandine can be used as an agent of antibacterial infections. The plant can be used as a garden plant and is available in the United States and Canada.

Background information on invasive species and invasive species particularly in Ohio United States, as well or in deciduous forests.

The invasive plants in Ohio, United States, causes harm to the wildlife in very, many ways. It is because the species can breed very fast and quickly take over the areas that they invest. The wildlife has not yet evolved defense, mechanisms that will help it against the invasion of the invasive plants and therefore they cannot compete. The change in the climate due to the global warming leads the invasion of the plants to new areas. The management of this invasive plants has become an issue that is critical and of great concern. The characteristics that make the plants flourish are the same reasons that make it hard for the state to control them. Herbicides can be used to curb the infestation by the invasive plants and ensures that the native plant species are protected and catered. There have been various practical techniques that have been formulated to meet the ecological challenge that will curb not only the invasive plants but also gain a foothold in the preserves. The Ohio Invasive Plants Council (OIPC) has developed various ways and methods that can be used to curb this threat to the environment and the health sectors. They have developed diversity in the ecosystem using science-based processes and objectives that intend to eliminate the invasive plants.

Are the species we are studying actually harmful?

Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) is detrimental since it destroys native plants. Its dense leaves that appear during the late winter prevent the growth of almost every other plant. This affects the vegetation and the growth of other plants. The plant is extremely harmful to the native forests, and it quickly escapes from the gardens and easily takes over the understory of forests.

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