A couple weekends ago, I put piece of the puzzle together. It was something that had struck curiosity in me. I had been helping RRF weed out the land at the end of the cul de sac along Riverview, November 17. I cut a thick Buckthorn root and I noticed how bright the bark was when I took a closer look. I realized that I had seen the Buckthorn roots at the Southbranch Creek location. When my group and I were planting Basswood and Buttonbush trees, we kept running into these roots that were a bright goldenrod color. I did not know whether to chop the root or dig around it. After looking closely at the Buckthorn that I cut down, I knew the roots I saw at Southbranch Creek were Buckthorn too. It made sense because the entire location had been taken over by the invasive plant. Although much of it was removed, there are still saplings waiting to sprout and come spring, the land will have a much greater amount of available sunlight. So the process has only just begun, as Buckthorn will sprout up for seasons to come.
It is important to understand the effects of invasive species in our ecosystems. They can alter the chemical composition and pH balance within the soil and if they are not irradiated they can cause displacement of other native animal species. Animals and plants rely on one another for pollination and food energy. When specific animals cannot find the sources of food needed to survive, it forces them to move to another location or even prey on other animals. Invasive species can cause severe harm to the native flow of life within an ecosystem. Learning how to identify the bark or leaves of an invasive plant is a great tool for restoration.