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New Purdue Study Highlights Impacts Of Invasive Species

A study released Thursday from Purdue University says invasive species, like the emerald ash borer, can cause dramatic and costly changes to affected areas—sometimes even changing entire landscapes.

The study says the changes invasive species cause can be rapid, lasting and hard to control. These changes can include acceleration of erosion, altering what plants grow in certain areas and even changing directions of river and streams.

Purdue professor of quantitative ecology Songlin Fei authored the study. He says the damage these species cause has severe economic impacts, too.

“The study shows the average per household spending—directly or indirectly—at over a thousand dollars, [and that's] just related to exotic invasions on an annual basis,” Fei says.

Fei says he thinks the possibility of eliminating the ash borer in the Hoosier state is minimal. He says efforts should be instead be focused on managing destructive species and preventing future invaders.

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