Biologist Eric Olson to speak on problems with invasive species

The Heller School’s Tuesday Talks series continues at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 30, 2010 in the Altman Amphitheater (G1) with Professor Eric Olson, who will explain why invasive species are such a problem, and propose ways the state could encourage and facilitate removals by local citizen groups. Olson recently surveyed a Newton wetland, where he found three times as many invasive species as native species, including a single Eurasian weed that entirely occupied the wetland core. The core of Brandeis' Chapels Field wetland is similarly occupied by one species of invasive grass.

Surveys throughout Newton have shown this is not a fluke, for many town conservation areas are being overrun by invasive species.   This extreme level of biological pollution was not addressed by the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, presumably because it was not conceivable at the time of passage that invasive plants would become such a threat to otherwise well-protected habitats.   The situation is somewhat reminiscent of the climate change problem: if decision makers truly understood and honestly confronted the issue they would have to act.   The campus community and the public are invited to this and all Tuesday Talks.

Categories: Science and Technology

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