Storm Water Ponds Can Harbor Invasive Species

January 16, 2020

Many of Florida’s urban areas have been protected from flood damage by the use of storm water ponds.

But researchers at the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have found that these ponds can also become habitat for invasive plant species.

Such species are introduced by landscaping in urban areas. According to UF/IFAS, control of invasive species – especially in waterways – costs Floridians $45 million each year.

Basil Iannone, a landscape ecology expert and a member of the research team investigating the ponds, said, “We are installing thousands of these engineered ecosystems that can have negative ecological impacts, including facilitating the spread of invasive plants.

“On the other hand, we can likely manage them better to limit or even eliminate these impacts. We just need to figure out how to do that.”

For more information, visit

(Photo courtesy of James Sinclair, UF/IFAS)