Invasive plant species aren’t all that bad, according to a new study by scientists at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. They can be a source of valuable ecosystem functions where native coastal habitats such as salt marshes and oyster reefs have severely declined.
The study focused on an invasive Japanese seaweed in North Carolina. The seaweed was found to perform functions such as soil stabilization and erosion control; storm surge and flood protection; biodiversity; food production; and the provision of nursery habitat for economically important seafood species, including shrimp, crab and fish.
Photo Credit: Aaron Ramus/Duke University