[Discussion Unit 2] Biodiversity

This is modified from a few FRQs.
In the Southern United States, fire ants are an invasive species that affect local flora and fauna.
A. Describe a negative effect on local flora and one negative effect of local fauna caused by the invasion of fire ants.
B. Propose a method of removal of fire ants and its ecological consequences.
C. Name another invasive species and the organism(s) that are impacted by it (excluding humans).

A. Describe a negative effect on local flora and one negative effect of local fauna caused by the invasion of fire ants.

  • A negative effect on local flora is that fire ants can act as a predator or parasites that affect the plant life of the system. If the fire ants affect plant life than the animals that eat these plants will have less of a reliable resource to eat from. One way that fire ants can affect the local fauna is by acting as competitors. If fire ants act as a competitor this will pose a huge threat to the animals that eat similar food and may even cause a decline in the wildlife of animals that eat the same food due to there being less of a resource.

B. Propose a method of removal of fire ants and its ecological consequences.

  • A method to remove fire ants is to use insecticide. By baiting out the ants form their mound and pouring insecticide onto them and their home causing them to die. Although this will get rid of the fire ants it may not be the best solution since it can harm the local environment by having the chemicals sweep into the ground and possibly into aquifers. The chemicals may even run off into fresh bodies of water which is extremely bad.

C. Name another invasive species and the organism(s) that are impacted by it (excluding humans).

  • Another invasive species in the Southeast part of the US are emerald ash borer. These species originated from Northeast Asia and migrate to the Southeast part of the US possibly when timber was being transported. This specie feeds off the tissue found beneath the bark of a tree which ultimately leads to the tree’s death. If this insect kills many trees by feeding off them then many animals such as birds may lose their homes.
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