Dade Krings Mr. JaroshSenior English7 December 2017 Invasive species have a very big impact on all wildlife and humans as well! Invasive species can have a very large impact on many species that are native to the area. My paper will go over what makes a species invasive, how invasive species spread, and the threats that are posed by invasive species. What makes a species invasive? A species will be categorized as invasive when it is not native to the area and when it has the potential to cause damage to the ecosystem, but at the same time some species can have a very good impact on ecosystems but at the same time the positive can always be weighed down by the negative. “An invasive species can be any kind of living organism—an amphibian (like the cane toad), plant, insect, fish, fungus, bacteria, or even an organism’s seeds or eggs—that is not native to an ecosystem and causes harm.”(Wildlife guide). But not everything that is nonnative to the area is considered invasive, they have to follow certain characteristics such as the lack of natural enemies, they are able grow or reproduce rapidly, compete aggressively for food, and are able to handle the weather conditions. “Aquatic invasive species can also wreak havoc with our economic activities. Sharp mussel shells can cut fishing lines, anglers’ hands, and waders’ feet. Apple Snails are major pests in Asian rice fields and could pose a problem in California.”(Johnson 2013). Anything that has any negative impact or is nonnative to its area is considered an invasive species. How do Invasive species spread so rapidly? An invasive species is able to reproduce so rapidly because of its lack of predators in its environment, the predators do not evolve with the prey so they are not able to successfully eat the prey. “Defense mechanisms like venom, size or speed that have been matched by adaptation in predators are suddenly without match in the new environment. This can allow the species to proliferate rapidly as it no longer faces any predators.”(Hill, 2017). Invasive species are able to spread so rapidly because they have absolutely no predators, and some species are helped out by humans that are trying to spread the species, for example the asian carp they cause serious damage to the waters that they are living in, they have reproduced to quickly that they have made it hard for the other fish to live, they also take all of the food away from the native species. The spread of invasive species has increased a lot because of humans helping the species reproduce by releasing them into places they are not native to. “Likewise, insects, rodents, and fish get trapped in cargo containers and are carried to new ecosystems. Sometimes, owners of aquariums dump non-native fish in a local pond or owners of exotic pets release them into the wild.”(Globalization101). What threats do invasive species pose? Invasive species threaten the species that are native to the land, the invasive species can cause a lot of economic harm and it can also harm to humans. For example, Cheatgrass is an invasive species. Cheatgrass is a type of grass that grows in the more drier areas of the United States, its is very harmful to the native species because it takes all of the nutrients away from the other plants and it is a very dry plant so when a wildfire starts and hits the cheatgrass it spreads rapidly and that is what destroys the other plants. “Invasive species have contributed directly to the decline of 42% of the threatened and endangered species in the United States.” Most of the invasive species are at the top of the food chain because all of the other species that are in that ecosystem have not been around them to be able to evolve to the invasive species, so with the said invasive species having nothing that will kill them they are able to reproduce and that is how they spread so rapidly, so that makes it harder for the other animals to reproduce. In conclusion, the rise of invasive species has had a very big impact on many of the endangered species and the native species. The impact on humans has not really been documented but the humans have been a major part in the rise in invasive species because they are the ones that are releasing the animals or planting the plants in places that they do not belong. Sources”Invasive Species | National Wildlife Federation.” The National Wildlife Federation, www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Threats-to-Wildlife/Invasive-Species.Johnson, Leigh T. “What Makes a Species Invasive?” ANR Blogs, 1 Aug. 2013, ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=11032.hill, jacob. “Invasive Species: How They Affect the Environment.” EnvironmentalScience.org, www.environmentalscience.org/invasive-species.”Spread of Invasive Species.” Globalization101, www.globalization101.org/spread-of-invasive-species/.”Asian Carp Overview.” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/miss/learn/nature/ascarpover.htm.”Impacts of Invasive Species.” The Impacts of Invasive Species | The Nature Conservancy, www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/land-conservation/forests/invasives-101.xml.