A chorus of peeping, chirping and croaking fills the air. Cattails and rushes rustle in the breeze accenting the amphibians’ song with their whispers. A long-legged shorebird is nearly silent as he stalks the shallows; his movements slow and calculated like a hunter’s meditation. Motionless turtles dot every log and rock touched by the fullness of the sun’s heat while muskrats busy themselves with the business of building. This is a swamp: a healthy ecosystem full of diversity.
One day, however, just a few of the 1.3 million seeds produced in one season by a single purple loosestrife plant find their way to this secluded marsh. The following spring they germinate beginning an invasion which has but one conclusion….monoculturalism.
In a not so distant future, the chorus will be silenced, the shorebird will seek out more fruitful hunting grounds, the turtles will no longer find nesting habitat and the muskrats will follow the cattails to a place less barren. The swamp will flush purple with blooms, but the beauty will be vacuous. The diversity will be gone, the ecosystem will have died.