Maintaining a balanced ecosystem
Invasive plants, which generally originate in Europe or Asia, pose a threat to the balance of our natural habitats and ecosystems. Their ability to reproduce quickly enables them to invade our natural milieus to the detriment of native species, with negative consequences for landscapes and biodiversity.
In Canada, the cost of invasive exotic plants stands at $2.2 billion a year for crops and pasture-land alone. These plants sometimes cause human health problems as well and prevent us from taking full advantage of natural areas. Invasive species can also lead to soil degradation and erosion, modify natural fire cycles and bring down property values.
Did you know that...
The roots of the Japanese knotweed, a plant that stands only one metre tall, can grow up to two metres deep and seven metres across. It is a strong plant that can break through cement, including building foundations.
The common water reed grows as a monoculture in disturbed areas, especially along shorelines and drainage ditches that run next to our highways. Once it is established, as we see here in the Beauharnois region, it completely dominates the natural flora and leads to a decline in the biodiversity of the ecosystems that it colonizes.
The Pathway to Phytotechnologies and the control of invasive plants
The final stop on the pathway will make the Frédéric Back Tree Pavilion a popular attraction at the Botanical Garden thanks to its new phytotechnology component – rehabilitation.
The naturalized pond located near the Frédéric Back Tree Pavilion is currently surrounded by invasive plant species. It is an ideal location to demonstrate various rehabilitation techniques and the role of wetlands for a healthy biodiversity.
Visitors will be near water and soil as they walk along a lane that starts below ground level. The lane will turn into a walkway over the pond to better observe these techniques, as well as the beauty of the surrounding landscape.