Invasive plants are plant species that can be harmful when introduced into new areas. These species can invade agricultural and natural areas, causing serious damage to Canada’s economy and environment. There are over 480 invasive plant species known to exist in Canada of which over 120 species are known exist on P.E.I.
One of the most obvious economic impacts are direct, costs such as losses in potential agricultural output, increased herbicide use, issues related to water purification, soil stability, carbon sequestration and loss of habitat for our native plant species. Many invasive plant species have great capacity to adapt to a wide range of environmental situations, a significant competitive advantage over many of our native plant species. This competitive advantage potentially displaces many native plant species, changes the plant composition and biodiversity of an ecosystem, endangering many native plant species including species of concern.
Social impacts of invasive plants include a diverse group of effects such as human health problems (allergies, dermatitis, etc.), interference with traditional lifestyles, and reduction or loss of tourism, employment, aesthetic values, property values, and enjoyment of natural areas in general.
The many ways an Invasive Plant is introduced into the Province is called a pathway. In Canada, the main pathway for introduction has been deliberate introduction and includes agricultural crops, landscape plants, ornamentals, and plants for medicinal and research purposes.
Please consider native plant species as an alternative choice to potentially invasive non native plant species and become aware of the consequences sharing or purchasing an Invasive Plant Species.
As Canada’s national plant protection organization, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:
regulates the import, sale and movement of plants into, and within, Canada;
monitors imports to prevent entry of invasive plants; and
conducts surveillance to determine if an invasive plant is here, or to confirm that an area is free of a specific invasive plant.
The invasive plants regulated under the Plant Protection Act are included in the list of Pests Regulated by Canada. The invasive plants regulated under the Seeds Act are listed in the Weed Seeds Order, 2005.
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