West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 19

'Introduced' plants (a term Doug Tallamy prefers to
'alien' or 'non-native') support far fewer pollinators and
other insects than natives because over evolutionary
time the plants and insects that evolved together
developed very specific relationships beneficial to
each. Many of our native insects rely on one specific
native plant, and vice versa.
Not all introduced plants are equally harmful. Species
of special concern are labeled as invasive. Such plant
species establish self-propagating populations, are
able to escape their initial site of establishment to
spread rapidly in the landscape, displacing native
plants, and cause negative environmental, economic,
or human health effects which outweigh any beneficial
effects (U.S. Dept. of the Interior definition). In
Doug Tallamy's words, " ... they are ecological tumors
that spread unchecked into our local ecosystems,
castrating the ecosystem's ability to function " (Nature's
Best Hope).
It's easy to see evidence of certain of these 'tumor'
plants in the Wyomissing Park.
Invasive bush
honeysuckle dominates much of the Wyomissing
Creek bank and has staged a complete takeover of
the understory in the wooded area crossed by the
'Summit Trail' that extends from the High Rd. circle
to the Golden Meadow. The berries of this plant
are eaten by birds but provide only a fraction of the
nutritional value of native berries, and bird nests
in these bushes are more vulnerable to predators.
New and even more destructive invasive plants have
appeared in the park for the first time in recent years.
I became aware of this problem in 2016, when I
recognized a few shoots of Japanese knotweed
poking up that spring, just off the Creek Path in the
Wet Meadow (the meadow adjacent to the gravel
parking lot on Old Mill Rd.). Knotweed is one
of the worst invasives, aggressively spreading to
form dense stands that can reach 8 - 10 feet tall. It
displaces all other plants in its path, can grow through
asphalt and damage building foundations, worsens
erosion along waterways, and is almost impossible
to eradicate once it is established.
I immediately contacted borough officials to sound
the alarm, but to date no effective control measures
have been implemented and I have learned that
Wyomissing has no program for monitoring or
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West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22

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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2021-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2020-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesFall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WRASpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesDecember2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesFall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesNovember18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSeptember2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesJune2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2017-2
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesFall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/Summer2017
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