Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When copperheads meet invasive plants

In an Indiana park, there are copperhead populations. But there are also invasive plants. The invasive plants in the wild areas block the copperheads' sun absorption and therefore keep them from getting enough heat, meaning that in areas where people are and the invasive plants are controlled, such as the campgrounds, visitor's center, cabins, and picnic tables are where the copperheads are found. Now, it is bad for the people if they get bitten by copperheads because copperheads are venomous. And it's bad for the copperheads if they get killed by people! Therefore, in this park, there should be wild areas with no invasive plants that don't have people intruding so the copperheads can live in peace without humans posing danger to them and without copperheads posing danger to park visitors. But in the areas where there are no invasive plants, lawnmowers and herbicide are also present, causing an ecological trap. The copperheads need areas with no invasive plants, but they also need to not be disturbed by people, lawnmowers and herbicide! Having wild areas without exotic plants is essential to continue these copperheads' survival without ecological traps involved.

Kingsbury, Bruce, Carter, Evan. "Copperheads, Invasive Plants, and Ecological Traps" Presentation at Joint Meeting of Icthyologists and Herpetologists 2014, August 2, 2014. Live presentation. August 2, 2014.

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