INVASIVE? Botanical Destruction: A threat to creation

The ecosystem of the Philippines is rich, diverse and blessed If we will just hover our eyes in the nature it has, we will see the richness of the Philippines. The beauty of the Philippines is rich in its own dynamics. The Philippines possess different ecosystem just like terrestrial, freshwater and saltwater. One of the biggest parts of the ecosystem is the forest. It generates diverse ecosystems ideal for supporting life. Because of the tropical climate of the Philippines forests are given the chance to enrich what they have as ecosystem. Though there are many benefits of the said ecosystem, it can be somehow interrupted by certain species. These species are called invasive species. Due to its favourable climate and soil condition, the Philippines is an archipelago that houses a number of unique species. With that, the introduction of invasive species makes the Philippines very vulnerable. Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureaus Ricardo L. Calderon, the concurrent director of the DENR-BMB, agreed that, “invasive species seriously threaten our ecosystems, especially in flora.” The Philippines are losing its native species because of them. Here, we have John Adrian Macaldo and Maui Mingcay students from MAPUA university to tell us more about invasive species. John Adrian Macaldo, what are invasive species? Goodmorning An invasive specie is basically a living organism foreign to a certain ecosystem which spreads to a point that their existence threatens the equilibrium in the ecosystem they reside. The spread of these invasive species is mainly due to either unintentional human error or natural causes. These species act normal in their native ecosystems but when introduced to a new location they tend to multiply aggressively. The lack of predation and competition lets these species disrupt the food chain present in an ecosystem. And for addition Invasive species create a series of huge impacts on the environment they pester as they threaten the balance of the ecosystem in that specific area their proliferation could could probably wipe out the endemic and native species in the country. According to data provided by the Ecosystems Research and development Bureau, invasive alien species has been contributing to massive extinction on the world’s fauna, at about 40 percent since the 17th century. Here is where plants come in, plants play a vital role in every organism’s survival. Since plants are the providers, harm inflicted on them triggers a series of detrimental effects. Thus, when the flora of an ecosystem fails, the fauna follows follows, as plants are vital components of the food chain. Thank you, Adrian and Maui. So, as newly introduced plant species increase in numbers in their new habitat they can either poison vegetation, outcompete other species for nutrients, and directly destroy other species. To give an example of such species, here is SIMRANJIT GORA and CY CRUZ Here outside the walls of Intramuros, Metro Manila, an invasive plant Mikania micrantha Kunth (Bitter vine) can be seen in abundance. It is a creeping and twining plant that originated from Central of South America. Mikania micrantha was introduced into India after the Second World War to camouflage airfields, and later it continued to spread in other countries. It is harmful to other plants in that it kills them by blocking out the light and smothering them. The invasive species specialist group, believed that the plant not only competes for water and nutrients. but it also releases chemicals that could prevent the growth of competitors Here we can see how the Mikania micranthia actually smothers and blocks the sunlight of these plants here The Mikania micranthia can be cut off and thrown however this doesn’t guarantee that the plant won’t grow back. That’s all for Mikania micrantha, how about you, Cy? Thank you, Sim! The rivers are the Water Hyacinth’s turf. It is a free-floating aquatic plant native to tropical South America; it can live almost infinitely. Water Hyacinth is a beautiful plant but don’t be deceived by its aesthetic appearance. The Water Hyacinth was introduced in 1912 in the Philippines as an ornamental, garden pond plant. But now, it has become a pest in today’s river in the Philippines. There are many problems caused by Water Hyacinth – problems to the flora family and the human life. To know its effects, Here are some residents. The water Hyacinth causes problems to our transportation. It also threatens the survival of aquatic species due to the plant covering the penetration of the sun in the river. Actually, there are solutions that have been made by the local government. Organizations such as The Pasig River Rehabilitation Center (PRRC) made a clearing operation for the water lilies. They made this group to clean out this kind of invasive specie. That’s all for Water Hyacinth. Thank you. Back to you, Bhong. Thank you, Sim and Cy. Now, we have learned what invasive species are their effects, and gave examples of them Now, its time for us to learn how they come to be and how they thrive as invasive species and for that, we have Thea to tell us. Epigenetics play a huge role in the concept of invasive species. It is often associated with the colonization of new environments. This mainly due an organism’s response to changes in abiotic factors or biotic factors. In the light of invasive species, it is a crucial factor which decides how an alien specie adapts to the new environment. It doesn’t alter the DNA code of an organism but rather it decides how cells read genes in response to certain stimuli. Successful invaders are expected to be prone to epigenetic variations. Say for instance, one might notice a plant from the northern part of the globe has pale green leaves and a plant of the same specie in the tropics has greener leaves. This may be due to epigenetics playing a huge part in the adaptation and survival of the plant. The plant adjusted its chlorophyll based on the amount of sun light it receives. making the one in the north pale and the other in the tropics greener. This slight change could mean the survival, extinction or reign of an organism. Say for example, if the orgnanism survives, The native species of the ecosystem may not be able to cope up with chaanges this organism brings making the organism potentially invasive destroying its resources, killing other species, and threatening humanity’s economy. Thank you, Thea! We know all about invasive species and how it wreaks havoc to every living organism in the planet. Now it’s time for D’arthganan Betco to tell us how we can solve this problem. Good morning! Good morning! We are facing problems about invasive species here in the Philippines. Can you tell us what are the current solution done by our government with regards to this crisis? The spread of invasive organisms has been a big hazard to our environment. Yes, it raised a lot of problems for us. So to answer this, the government have been raising funds and hosting researches solving these invasive species. Can you please get more specific with that? Sure. Recently, Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureaus Ricardo L. Calderon , the concurrent director of the DENR-BMB held a gathering of experts hosted by the DENR-ERDB last July 2019 which tackled invasive species and ways to control and manage them, if not prevent permanently. What are ways we can do to help fight invasive species? The least we can do is to educate ourselves in order to prevent or somehow minimize alien species before they spread and potentially become invasive. Right. Thank you, Betco. Ultimately, prevention is better than cure. The knowledge we have now about invasive species can be used to combat against it. That’s it for today guys. This has been Fernando Bhong Frio, Jr. Class dismissed.