A SERIOUS THREAT TO THUNDER BAY AREA WETLANDS & WATERWAYS
|History Impacts LRCA Action Loosestrife-Eating Beetles|
|Control Options Do Not Plant Identification Reporting Form|
|HISTORY - THE ARRIVAL FROM EUROPE|
loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is not a native species; it was introduced
to North America in the early 1800's from Eurasia. Settlers imported plants
for their gardens and seeds were present in soil used for ballast on ships.
Since those early
beginnings, purple loosestrife has found its way into wetlands in nearly
every Province and State in North America. In 1990, Purple Loosestrife was first documented in the Thunder Bay area. Since that time it has been found in several locations in the City and surrounding municipalities.
is a very hardy perennial plant that can outgrow cattails, sedges, rushes
and the other native aquatic plants on which wildlife depends. The roots
of loosestrife form a dense mat that blocks other plants from growing
up. Eventually, it chokes out the other vegetation and soon becomes the
dominant species. In marshes where a loosestrife seed source is present,
the plant can be expected to colonize exposed areas in high densities
with great speed.
A change in the diversity and type of plant species threatens the hundreds of species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, fish and amphibians that rely on healthy wetland habitat for their survival. For example, cattail stands are home to Muskrats and a variety of nesting birds, such as Marsh Wrens. Purple loosestrife does not provide the necessary shelter and food sources.
The dense loosestrife roots also clog water channels in the marsh. These are places where fish would come in to spawn, ducks would feed, nutrients would flow and insects could hide and feed along the edges.
Thousands of hectares of wetlands, marshes, pastures and riparian meadows are affected in North America each year, with an economic impact of millions of dollars. Roadside and agricultural drainage ditches can be affected, resulting in extra costs for more-frequent cleaning.
|CONTROL OF LOOSESTRIFE|
are several management techniques for controlling purple loosestrife. The
L.R.C.A. recommends hand pulling as the most effective method where appropriate.
Herbicides are not recommended, as they will effect other species.
|Do not plant any form of Purple Loosestrife|
loosestrife is available for sale. Do not buy it or plant it in your yard.
New plants can grow from pieces or from the seeds of loosestrife. Although
it is beautiful looking, even sterile hybrids of loosestrife can cross-pollinate
with wild Purple loosestrife to produce seeds. If you have loosestrife in
your garden, please pull it out and do not share it with friends.
|How to Identify Purple Loosestrife|
and staff reports indicate that the main growing sites are:
On-line form Mail-in form
|Programs & Services | Watershed Management | Fill Regulations | New | Links | About Us | Tour | Explorer Card | Conservation Education | Hazelwood Lake Centre | Resource Materials | Purple Loosestrife || Lakehead Conservation Foundation|
Lakehead Region Conservation Authority