Biological polluters. When these words come to mind we think of negative factors damaging our environment, but what exactly are biological polluters. Biological pollution is the terms used for the pollution to the environment one organism produces when it is transported to a nonnative area. Biopollution is very common in South Florida. The diversity of cultures has cause a high peak in the amount of invasive species found in South Florida. The native plants and animals suffer greatly from biopollution.
Biopollution can occur very easily, one small plant is imported into the country and it begins to grow. Due to the fact that it has no natural enemies the plant or animal reproduces extremely quick. At this pace the native plant are plants contact diseases and become inferior to the invasive species. A prime example of an evasive species to the Florida everglades is the Schinus terebinthifolius other wise know as the Brazilian pepper. The Brazilian pepper was introduced into the environment of South Florida by landscaping and birds spreading its seeds.
The beautiful red color makes for a great landscaping thus was very common in yards. The problem with the Brazilian pepper is that its thick roots get in the way of the native species and overrule them causing them to die. This species is a big danger to the pine rock land ecosystems of south Florida. Ecologists do their best to remove the Brazilian pepper. They are removed with land moving equipment, herbicides and even by hand. One surprising biological polluter of South Florida is the Green Iguana.
Commonly seen all around South Florida launching on the side of canals and walking around parks. Iguanas are originally from Central America and were introduce to the ecology of South Florida in the 1960’s. They were imported into the United States to be sold as rare pets. Once the iguana became too large and violent they were release into canal. The iguanas reached the everglades were they grew rapidly by eating native species such as the Orthlicus reses and Liguss fasciatus(snails).
These snails are now endangered species. Iguanas love to dig but there digging causes erosion near canals. Biological polluters are as big a problem as chemical pollution is on our environment. The are commonly introduces as pets or food. People must become more informed in order for the problem to be controlled. The best method of reducing Biological pollution is prevention. Prevention can only be successful if we are aware of the dangers these invasive species cause our ecosystem.
Courtney from Study Moose
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