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Exotic Species Impact on Native Plants and Animals

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Use Internet to access your state department of agriculture or fish and game department to find an example of one exotic species (plant or animal) that has been introduced into your area that is having negative effects on the native plants and animals. Often these will be listed under the state fish and game department, or your state's agricultural extension service. Describe how that organism was introduced and what part of the world it came from. Describe the negative impact the organism is having on the natural world of your area. Finally, discuss what is being done to control this species and suggest what might have been done differently to prevent this introduction.

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The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) is a small organism originally found in Russia. The animal was transported to Michigan by way of ships and reproduced in Lake St. Clair. The mussels have spread to all Great Lakes and to the Mississippi, Tennessee, Hudson, and Ohio River Basins. They reproduce and live on boats, water-intake pipes, buoys, docks, piers, plants, and slow moving animals such as clams, crayfish, and turtles.

While there has been one positive aspect to the arrival of the zebra mussel, where native species eat the young, migrating ducks ...

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Exotic species impact on native plants and animals is discussed in the solution.

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Speciation and Extinction

Speciation and extinction have shaped the biodiversity we observe on Earth today. Organism and populations are constantly evolving and changing in response to their environment.

1) Discuss small populations and extinction vortices.

2) Discuss reasons why plant and animal populations may differ in their susceptibility to extinction

3) discuss three reasons that exotic species are often able to drive native species to extinction.

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