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Grass Carp Biocontrol & the Ecosystem

Please provide information, assistance and advise on the following:

• What challenges could the Grass Carp have in a small town, (let us say Sparksville) in restoring balance in their aquatic ecosystem?
• How can the town restore their lake ecosystem?
• What is ecosystem balance? What reduction factors and which growth factors can impact ecosystem balance?
• What are two ways in which the invasive species and native species impact ecosystem balance?
• How can native and invasive species affect succession? How might an invasive species impact the natural selection of the native species within a habitat?
• How could native and invasive species affect the flow of energy in an ecosystem?
• What are four possible solutions to the Grass Carp invasion problem? What is one advantage and one disadvantage for each solution?
• Why should humans strive to restore and maintain ecosystem balance?


Solution Preview

The solution below should get you started also see the attached file. In this particular task, you are asking for help in putting together a discussion on a species of fish and its impact in the ecosystem. Following what you are asking for, the solution below presents a Q&A as well as a short overview on the species. You can use the listed resources to further explore the topic.

The Grass Carp & Biodiversity Q&A


The grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella, also known as white amur, is a freshwater native to East Asia commonly found in the freshwaters of the Amur River in Siberia all the way to northern Vietnam. It is herbivorous and a favorite cultivated fish that always feature in Chinese cuisine either steamed parbroiled or panfried. In its natural environment, the species thrive in turbid rivers and floodplain lakes and is deemed to have a wide range of temperature tolerance, spawning successfully at 20 to 30°C. The species have been introduced to the US and Europe to manage aquatic weed as they clear out large aquatic vegetation in large, slow-flowing or standing water bodies making them effective at biocontrol. The 1963 introduction of the species in the US was primarily for food cultivation with the release of the species into the wild being deemed accidental from a US Fish and Wildlife Service experimental farming station in Arkansas.

1. What challenges could the Grass Carp have in a small town, (let us say Sparksville) in restoring balance in their aquatic ecosystem?
- According to the Department of Ecology of the State of Washington (2015), "The objective of using grass carp to control aquatic plant growth is to end up with a lake that has about 20 to 40 percent plant cover, not a lake devoid of plants. In practice in Washington, grass carp often fail to control the plants or all the submersed plants are eliminated from the waterbody." This means that the challenge largely depends on the size of the aquatic ecosystem (i.e. size of the lake or river), the type of water environment (is it slow or fast flowing, is it standing) and the species of aquatic weed that needs to be controlled. The temperature of the water is also a challenge as with the wrong temperature, the species might not be able to propagate and soon die out. For every vegetated acre that needs biocontrol, 9 to 25 8 to 11 inch grass carp is needed and it will take them 2 to 5 years to control nuisance plants. Thus, their biggest challenge is survival due to water temperature and nature of the aquatic environment - ideally it ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of the grass carp as a form of biocontrol in aquatic environments and the species' ecosystem impact. Resources ares listed for further exploration of the topic.