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-Invasive Species


Pennsylvania has several invasive species that change the composition of forests.  Invasive and exotic species are plants, animals, or other organisms that are introduced to a given area outside their original range, often causing harm to the environment and economy in their new location. Pennsylvania has several invasive species including the gypsy moth, white pine weevil, hemlock woolly adelgid, beech bark disease, and emerald ash borer (see bottom of page). These invasive species change the composition of forests by killing needed species- in this case-trees.  This increases the amount of light available, soil nutrients, and woody debris, and also alters habitat for wildlife. Invasive species can have detrimental effects on forests both ecologically and economically.

Printable Module Background Reading

Activity Description:

Students observe transects of forest environments and link tree health with economic value and ecosystem biodiversity, in regards to the negative aspects related to invasive species. Students learn to create a research plot and use measuring skills to determine the Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) of selected trees. Students will be able to describe how invasive species impact forest ecosystems.  They will be able to explain the economic loss due to invasive/exotic species, as well as the decrease in biodiversity.

Printable Equipment and Activity Instructions

Supplemental Information and Further Exploration:

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