Might invasive plants actually strengthen an ecology?! Maybe the hardest thing for us to swallow is that our land might be in need of these pioneers. That would mean it is not heaven on Earth and far from it. We could improve our land by learning from the invasives.
Bittersweet, knotweed, barberry and all invasive plants actually improve soil. They help delicate natives return. All plants pump liquid carbon into the soil. Microbes live in and off of the carbon that plant roots exude. Microbes make a better balance out of the soil minerals and the plant feeds off them. This builds rich soil overtime. Invasives are pumping more liquid carbon into the soil than our natives because they can handle harsher soil. When the soil richens they fall into the background.
When we spray Round-up on invasives the Round-up robs minerals. It instantly puts the plant into mineral deficiency. The plant dies because a disease that is always present in the soil is triggered to decay ‘sick’ plants. Round-up goes after specific life essential minerals. The invasive plant created a better balance out of our harsh aluminum and iron soil. We thank it by spraying a chemical on it that soaks up the more delicate minerals. Our energy could be better spent learning from the invasives and offering what they accumulate faster than they can. Or we could just let them do it for us! If you want to kill an invasive then ‘love’ it death. Give it stable soil carbon (maybe compost) and a better mineral balance (maybe a natural rock fertilizer).
Too often we appreciate life after it is gone. I hope we can see the beauty in a weed from elsewhere. If it is true that all life supports life then we are really putting this ‘law’ to the test!