Impacts of invasive European Cattail on Invertebrate Communities in the Fraser River estuary
Estuaries are important ecosystems which provide us with many benefits, some of which include storing carbon, dampening the impacts of rising sea levels, and are areas of high biodiversity. The Fraser River estuary in the lower mainland of British Columbia is seeing alteration from human presence, including the introduction of invasive species. One invasive species of interest is the European Cattail (Typha angustifolia) and its hybrid TyphaXGlauca. It grows in dense stands where it outcompetes native vegetation, but we don’t know what impact this is having on sediment dwelling insects and crustaceans, which are important food sources for residents of the estuary such as salmon. In partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), this study will investigate the differences in invertebrate communities between invasive and native vegetation dominated stands. The information gained from this study can be used by DUC to help further their restoration of the estuary for juvenile salmonids.