Here at Eradication Nation, we’ve begun our annual stream surveys for invasive weeds, with Japanese knotweed being a primary target. Japanese knotweed is an invasive, bamboo-like plant that thrives in riparian areas, where it crowds out native plants. Catching infestations early is crucial to preventing knotweed from completely taking over long stretches of stream banks!
This year we are targeting smaller tributaries and seasonal streams in the Salmon Creek watershed in areas we have not surveyed previously. There are over 90 miles of streams left to survey, so we will have our hands full! These surveys are needed to identify where knotweed is and to prevent it from spreading along our waterways.
Japanese Knotweed and Erosion
Invasive plants push out natives and reduce biodiversity. An intact native plant landscape has a wide variety of root systems which stabilize soil and stream banks, preventing erosion. Japanese knotweed, while its root systems can be very extensive, does not stabilize stream banks. Seasonal flooding then removes large swathes of the bank. This has two main effects: first, the sediment load in the stream increases, reducing its value as salmon habitat; second, bits and pieces of Japanese knotweed are swept downstream, where they can establish new stands of knotweed.
Left untreated, patches of Japanese knotweed can rapidly spread via flooding.
Want to help Eradication Nation stop the spread of Japanese knotweed and other invasive plants? E-mail [email protected] with the subject Weed Watchers Sign-Up and leave your name and preferred contact information to sign-up for the Weed Watchers program.
Our next Weed Watchers event is a BioBlitz on August 21st! Locate invasive species in your neighborhood with EddMaps. Whoever submits the most plants that aren’t blackberries or reed canary grass gets a Chico bag!