School Email Exchange

Why are you so worried about invasive species on plastic?  Large logs and branches can float too.

Posted on October 19 2012

Question submitted by Bainbridge High School

You are correct in stating that species have been traveling across oceans from one land mass to another on natural floating objects as long as they have existed.  With the growing number of plastic "rafts" among the natural ones, the chance that invasive species will colonize a new habitat may be greatly increased.

A piece of styrofoam insulation harbors a tiny island of organisms that float with it across the ocean.  Planes crabs and gooseneck barnacles are visible in this photo.