S. alterniflora is a vigorous and invasiove species. Its vigorous growth form allows it to exploit a specific habitat niche where is a large areas of unvegetated mudflats. At the same time, the robust stems and reticular rhizomes and roots of S. alterniflora makes it suitable for shoreline stabilisation, land claim and erosion defence purposes. Thus the species has been artifically spread from its native habitat to a large number of estuarine ecosystems throughout world. Unexpectedly, the quick expansion and outbreak of the species resulted some negatively economic and ecological effects in the last twenty years. S. alternilfora invasion mechanism and control strategies have been a hot topic.
The previous researches showed that powerful ability of hybridization and introgression has been a genetic basic, superior reproductive capability has been the sources and strong ability of anti-stress and adaptability has been an ecological and physiologic basic for S. alterniflora invasion and expansion, respectively. In most invasive habitats, the expansion of S. alterniflora, based on intentionally transplants, indicated the mode of point dispersal. The episodic and continuous dispersal pattern of seeds has been playing an important role for maintain, recruitment and outbreak of S. alterniflora population. Meanwhile, consecutive expansion of S. alterniflora populations was ensured by the trait of potently clonal growth. Meanwhile, a large number of researches about Spartina management and control method have been carried out.
In general, the species of S. alterniflora is a doouble-edged sword. Its growth and expansion can bring some economical benefit and positively ecological effects. However, the immoderate invasion of the species also can lead to a series of negative issues on economic and ecology. While the exact ecological and economic consequences of these changes are uncertain, the potential for damage may be extensive. The only way to test the full extent of the impacts would to wait until S. alterniflora is widely established, at which point, the species would be virtually impossible to control. Therefore, prevention of seed production in all designated areas is required to help contain this species and prevent its further spread. At the same time, the integrated strategies with exploring the economical value and other restraining growth of S. alterniflora methods should be adopt to manage the biological invasion.
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