Aquatic Plant Research > Invasives > Understanding Invasives > AIS (general)
Aquatic Plant Research
DNR Science Services researchers are interested in understanding the general ecology of invasive species and what that means for invasive species management in Wisconsin now and in the future.
Eurasian watermilfoil is an invasive aquatic plant thought to frequently grow with high density that harms native plant communities. However, as a general rule, most species (from plants to animals to bacteria) occur in very small populations that become abundant in only a small percentage of sites. Invasive species are often thought to be an exeption to this rule-- but are they? We conducted an analysis of aquatic invaders and found that just like native speices, invaders are actually rare most of the time, and very abundant only occasionally. After establishing that a small population is more likely than one that gets out of control, our attention can now be focused on what kind of impacts the invaders have at both low and high numbers, which allows us to more reasonably understand plant management options.