Out Of Place Plants

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#1
Couldn't find a topic for this.

Exotic alien plant species are moving in on ghost estates in Cahersiveen
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 27265.html
ANNE LUCEY

Mon, Feb 21, 2011

INVASIVE PLANT species are taking over unfinished housing estates in Kerry and threatening serious damage to building by growing through substrata such as concrete and tarmac, a report into biodiversity in urban areas in the county has warned.

The main town of the Iveragh peninsula, Cahersiveen, surrounded by areas of special conservation interest, is worst affected, according to the study by Atkins consultants, commissioned by Kerry County Council.

The invasion of exotic alien species was “widespread” in Cahersiveen, where 15m (49ft) long banks of the Japanese knotweed, which grows rampantly, had been spotted within the town, the study found.

Cahersiveen has a number of unfinished housing estates, the report noted. Himalayan knotweed, giant rhubarb and rhododendron were also problematic in Cahersiveen, the research into four urban areas including Tralee found.

Japanese knotweed, which is one of the world’s worst and most prolific invaders, spreading from tiny pieces to form leafy canopies 3m high, choking out other plant life, was also found on river banks in Tralee town centre.

The “highly invasive” species found in Kerry’s biggest town could damage flood defences as well as houses and buildings, and destabilise the river banks, according to the study.

“Of four towns studied, Cahersiveen supported the greatest cover, spread and variety of invasive exotic shrub species,” it said.

Japanese knotweed was “consistently found” in consolidated clumps and in scattered patches on roadsides, areas of unfinished housing developments and isolated spoil and rubble heaps throughout Cahersiveen, the report said.

The unfinished nature of the housing estates on the western side of the town provided opportunities for the establishment and spread of invasive species “through the various open and unstable parent materials on site”, it said.

The report recommended a further study be carried out, followed by a control and eradication programme.

The north Kerry coastal towns of Ballybunion and Tarbert were not as badly affected, it found.
 

Cultjunky

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#2
Y'no, I thought this was going to be a thread about feng shui, at least I was in the right neck of the woods.

Oh, let the pun times roll :lol:

Though, to be OT, the little old lady over the road from me has a palm tree in her garden, which does look very out of place and forelorn when covered in snow, as it was earlier in the year.
 

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#3
Spooky coincidence, but I was reading up about the Japanese knotweed earlier today, and some sources even claimed that the UK would be overrun by it by 2011! (well, there's still time, I guess!).
 

Spudrick68

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#5
I thought they were trying to use some type of insect that should kill the plant to try to control it. Initially it was going to be a trial?
 
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Shouldn't be difficult for me to get a drunken mob together tptrach the National Botanical Gardens given the day thats in it.

Botanic gardens blamed for spreading plant invaders
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... aders.html
17 March 2011
by Andy Coghlan

Magazine issue 2804. MORE than half of the world's most invasive plant species spread into new habitats from botanic gardens, an analysis of historic "alien" escapes has concluded. Although most cases analysed happened between the 1800s and the mid-1900s, there are reports of more recent releases which merit a tightening up of biosecurity, researchers warn.

Plant species can escape from specialist gardens through waterways, wind dispersal and animal transportation. Once in the wild they can invade and take over native habitats.

Most accounts of escapes have been anecdotal, so to assemble a broader picture, Philip Hulme at Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand started with 34 plants that had made it on to a list of the world's 100 worst invasive species, collated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Hulme scoured the literature for evidence of where the plants had originated and reports that no less than 19 of the 34 had almost certainly spread from botanic gardens (Trends in Ecology, DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2011.01.005).

A beautiful yellow flowering shrub called kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum, pictured) native to India, for example, spread from a botanical garden in Jamaica into Jamaican forests and to Hawaii. "It's a real noxious plant, creating a blanket that prevents native plants from regenerating," says Hulme. Four of the "worst 100" species likely escaped from one source, he claims - the Amani botanic garden in Tanzania.

Although these are historic escapes, Hulme says more may have happened since, because it takes decades for plants to establish themselves. Lumnitzera racemosa, for example, an Asian species brought to the US in the 1950s and 1960s by botanic gardens, has a population growing at 17 to 23 per cent per year in Florida mangroves.

Hulme points out that an initiative in 2001 to prevent or stamp out accidental releases, called the St Louis declaration, has only been signed by 10 of the 461 botanic gardens in the US. Some gardens are doing their bit, most notably the Chicago Botanic Gardens, which is in the process of replacing some of the species that cause concern. CBG has also stopped swapping seeds with other botanic gardens and has eradicated possible invaders from all commercial merchandise.

Peter Raven, head of the Missouri Botanical Garden and pioneer of the St Louis declaration, says that despite it having only 10 signatories, many more botanic gardens in the US are following its guidelines. "There's always potential for species to escape from collections and become established in the wild," says Suzanne Sharrock, director of global programmes at Botanic Gardens Conservation International, a global umbrella group for botanic gardens based at Kew in London. "Our focus is to help botanic gardens become part of the solution, by using their collections to develop early-warning systems in the face of changing environmental conditions, and to inform the public of the dangers posed by invasive species."
 
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#10
EU-backed project aims to eradicate invasive Indian plant
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 11217.html
BARRY ROCHE, Southern Correspondent

Thu, Jul 07, 2011

AN EU-funded project to eradicate an invasive plant which is eroding land and putting important fish habitats in a north Cork river at risk, will be formally announced tomorrow by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.

Himalayan Balsam, which was introduced from India as an ornamental plant for its pretty pink flower, has spread from gardens and roadsides and is now causing major problems on river banks and habitats throughout Ireland including in north Cork.

But local development group IRD Duhallow, in conjunction with Inland Fisheries Ireland, has begun a €1 million EU-backed project to eradicate the invasive plant from the banks of the river Allow which flows from Freemount in north Cork through Kanturk to Banteer where it enters the Blackwater.

Project scientist Dr Fran Igoe explained that Himalayan Balsam, also known as Policeman’s Helmet, competes with native vegetation for space and leaves exposed banks of silt on the riverside when it dies back in the autumn.

This silt poses a serious threat to salmon eggs in spawning beds when it is washed down river in winter floods while it also impacts on the capacity of the river to support fresh water mussels which can live to more than 100 years of age in the right conditions.

Chairman of the Duhallow group Michael Twohig expressed confidence that the project, which will involve halting river bank erosion and controlling river weed, will completely remove the plant from the banks of the Allow within its four-year time frame.

“We plan to work with our communities, schools, farmers, angling clubs and environmental interests on this project. We have long believed our natural resources, if properly developed with an eye to conservation, hold the best prospect of economic revival for Duhallow.”

Rivers have the potential to generate tourism based on angling, walking and wildlife appreciation, he added.

Dr Igoe said the spread of non-native invasive species is becoming a scourge and while some are benign and harmless to native species, others affect native species and bring serious economic costs. Methods he had developed during trials on the Mulkear River, Co Limerick, are being used on the Allow project, he said.
 

rjmrjmrjm

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#11
*wavey lines*

Biology field trip, we'd been learning about plant sucession on sand dunes and how different types of plant are adapted to harsh conditions.

We had to compile a list of plant species and abundance of them beginning at the foreshore and going back into the dune slacks and eventually scrubland.

Any plant we couldn't identify from our "common plants of the british seashore" book we'd ask our know-it-all teacher.

Imagine his surprise when we called him over to look at a pansy on top of the tallest and windiest sand dune. He clearly knew it was a pansy but couldn't bring himself to admit that it was a pansy on a sand dune as in the world of science that doesn't happen. He mumbled something too us about some sort of hybrid species and toddled off to shout at some fourth formers...

...I'm not sure we ever returned the pansy to the flower pot outside the headmasters office where we'd pinched it from before we set off.
 
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#12
Carnivorous plants removed from Lake District bog
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-16772704

A boat was used to reach the plants
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories

Funding to help restore meadows
Rangers and volunteers have weeded out carnivorous plants which were choking out wildlife in a Lake District bog.

The National Trust said thousands of pitcher plants had been growing at Nor Moss, on Claife Heights, near Hawkshead.

It said the plants were forcing out other plants in the area, which is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

A boat was used to reach the plants and thousands were pulled out by hand.

The pitcher plants, which originated in North East America, have cavities containing liquid which digests prey falling into them.

National Trust Ranger Richard Tanner said: "Not only were the pitcher plants taking over, they were competing with other native insectivorous species such as the Sundew.

"This isn't just bad for the insect population, but also the birds which eat the insects - it's not good all round."
 
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#13
Alien invaders threaten Antarctic fringes
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17258799
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News

Scientists are inadvertently helping to carry seeds and other bits of plant around Antarctica

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Alien threat 'needs swift action'

The fringes of Antarctica are being invaded by alien plants and tiny animals, scientists have found.

Researchers scoured the clothes and boots of tourists and scientists visiting the continent, and found that most were carrying plant seeds.

Alien plants already grow on the fast-warming Antarctic Peninsula.

Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the team says the plants are likely to spread as the climate warms.

"People in the past have been sceptical, saying 'it's largely ice-covered so it's unlikely that plants will establish themselves'," said lead researcher Steven Chown from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

"[They're] forgetting that probably less than 1%, but still a significant area, is ice-free - some of that's in the peninsula region, and it's been warming very quickly."

The Antarctic Peninsula, which runs up towards the southern tip of South America, has warmed by about 3C over half a century, much faster than the global average.

As a result, ice cover is dwindling.

Many islands in the sub-Antarctic region have seen significant ecological changes due to invasive species, that have either arrived accidentally or deliberately.

The research team believes that the Antarctic Peninsula and some other areas around the continent's coast could see similar changes in decades to come.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

Our best efforts will only reduce the rate at which species are introduced”

Kevin Hughes, BAS
"Antarctica has a native ecology - a very well-established microbial ecology, and on the peninsula it has two species of indigenous plants," Prof Chown told BBC News.;

"And it will be changed by species coming in."

The marine environment is changing too, with giant crabs establishing themselves in waters that were previously too cold.

Dirty tongues
During International Polar Year in 2007-8, the research team took samples from tourists and tourism operators, and scientists and their support staff.


Marion Island is one of the sub-Antarctic islands now colonised by the grass Agrostis stolonifera
On average, each visitor carried 9.5 seeds into the White Continent, though scientists carried far more each than tourists.

"What we found was that people's boots and bags were the things that had most material attached," said Kevin Hughes from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

"I guess the tongue of the boot is an ideal place for seeds to be caught when you're tying up your laces; but we did find them in various bits of clothing as well."

Extrapolating from their figures, this means that about 70,000 seeds arrive on Antarctica each year.

The places that tourists visit tend to be the warmest bits of the continent - which are also the places where seeds are most likely to survive.

The researchers found that although many of the seeds originated in South America, a large number came from the Northern Hemisphere.


Visitors to Antarctica had their gear and pockets sampled, including using vacuum cleaners
About half of them came from cold regions and would probably be viable in the warmer bits of Antarctica.

The researchers also collated evidence from other scientists on organisms that have already established themselves.

Deception Island, 100km northwest of the peninsula, has already been colonised by two grass species and two springtails - tiny animals that live in topsoil and leaf litter.

On the western slopes of the peninsula itself, the grass species Poa annua has established itself close to four research stations - implying that it has probably been brought, inadvertently, by visiting scientists.

Poa annua has already taken over several sub-Antarctic islands where it dominates vegetation.

Future imperfect
The researchers suggest that measures be taken as soon as possible to tackle invasive species that are already there, and to prevent the arrival of new ones, as far as possible.

Dr Hughes has already "eradicated" a South American member of the aster family from Deception Island, where tourists regularly stop to visit an old whaling base, by the simple measure of pulling up the single specimen he found.

But with some of the more widespread species, they fear it could already be too late.


Life on Antarctica largely consists of mosses and lichens, sometimes around volcanic fumaroles
The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), which covers most companies in the area, already takes pains to make sure tourists arrive seed-free; and some countries' science organisations have similar requirements.

"We can use guidelines for vehicles, make sure cargo hasn't got seeds and invertebrates on it, make sure clothing is clean and that we bring fresh boots," said Dr Hughes.

"[However,] I think it's safe to say that wherever people go, it's inevitable that they bring other species with them; and no matter what we do, our best efforts will only reduce the rate at which species are introduced, we'll never prevent it altogether."

There is no legal obligation to clean up accidentally introduced alien species under the Antarctic Treaty.

But this team of scientists believes there is a moral obligation to do so, and to block new arrivals as far as possible.

One complicating factor for the Antarctic Peninsula and its islands is that some seeds are known to arrive carried on the wind from South America.

But, argues Prof Chown, there is still an element of human agency about these wind-blown cases in that the plants can only establish themselves under climatic conditions created largely through humanity's production of greenhouse gases.

If nothing is done, he says, small pockets of the unsullied continent may, in 100 years, look very like sub-Antarctic islands such as South Georgia where alien plants and animals, particularly rats, have dramatically changed the local ecology.

"South Georgia is a great sentinel of what could happen in the area in the next few hundred years," he said.

"My suspicion is that if you didn't take any biosecurity measures you'd end up with a system that would look like a weedy environment with rats, sparrows and Poa annua."
 
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#14
Non-native forest species 'extending growing season'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17814674
By Mark Kinver
Environment reporter, BBC News

Species that display an extended growing season can have a big impact on a habitat's ecology
y
Related Stories

UK trees' fruit ripening earlier
'Climate clues' in pressed plants
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Non-native plant species are extending the growing season in eastern US forests by an average of four weeks, a study has suggested.

There was no difference in the start of growing during the spring, but the report found a noticeable difference between native and non-native species in the autumn.

This could have a profound impact on forest ecosystems, such as how soil nutrients are absorbed, the paper says.

The findings are published by Nature.

"There is a bit of a saying in these parts that if you go for a hike in March and you see something green, then it is an invader," said author Jason Fridley, an ecologist at Syracuse University, US.

"So I thought I would invest little bit of my time to quantify that if the invaders were waking up a little earlier in the spring, and were keeping their leaves longer in the fall, what was the significance to their ecology and their ability to get into the forests."

Prof Fridley said that his experiment, carried out over three years and involving more than 70 species, actually revealed that there was not a signal of non-native species coming into leaf earlier than native species during the spring.

"It turns out that the real difference is in the autumn - nobody was expecting this - it turns out that our native species in the east of the United States really don't do anything after October, but the invaders were still very active," Prof Fridley told BBC News.

Whether the later finish to the growing season gave the non-native species an advantage was an area that requires further investigation, he explained.

"It turns out that although the invaders are doing something very different from native species, our calculations suggest that they are not getting more food over the course of the year.

"We think this is because the native species have a slight edge in the spring, so when the year is taken as a whole there is no real net benefit."


It could be that "Old-World" species have not experienced so much evolutionary disruption
Prof Fridley added that that holding on to the leaves for longer was likely to have an impact on the area's ecosystems.

"The invaders are actually losing nice green leaves to that fall to the forest floor, and those nutrients are feeding the microbes and feeding the nitrogen cycle," he said.

"So we do think they are having a pretty big impact on what is happening beneath the ground.

He added that there was a possibility that the extended growing season among the non-native species could have a wider impact on the environment.

"This opens up a lot of interesting questions for the food chains, such as: are there insects or mammals that are taking advantage of the fact that there are more things to eat very late in the season?" he observed.

"We have real problems with deer in the eastern parts of the US, and the longer that things stay green in the [autumn], then it is a brighter outlook for deer trying to get through the winter.

Prof Fridley said that the species that were displaying the later leafing behaviour were primarily from China, Japan and Korea, with a number from the UK and Europe.

"I would love to know what they are doing in their native environments," he said.

"I have a sneaking suspicion that the plants coming from the Old World to the New are actually better adapted that new world species and that could be that the New World experienced some pretty major disruptions over the past two million years during the last Ice Ages."
 
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#15
Himalayan balsam continues its onwards march, perhaps it'll attract Yetis.

Himalayan balsam 'colonising' Cors Llyferin wetland
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-nort ... s-20222556

Himalayan balsam can grow up to 10ft (3m) in height

Action is being taken to remove an invasive, non-native plant which is threatening plants, insects and wildlife at a wetland site in Gwynedd.

Large, dense patches of Himalayan balsam are "colonising" the Cors Llyferin site of special scientific interest in Abersoch.

It was introduced as an ornamental plant from Asia in the early 19th Century but outgrows native species.

Environment Agency Wales officers have been working to clear it from the area.

A dense strand of the plant can produce over 30,000 seeds per square metre and its exploding seed pods can scatter seeds up to 7m away.

It can grow up to 10ft (3m) in height and can out compete and overshadow native plants which die from lack of light.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

Removing this invasive species is not only important for our native plants, but also for tourism and leisure”

David Edwell
Environment Agency Wales
It was first identified at the golf club in October 2010, and has since spread between watercourses and into the wet woodland area, which is one of the main areas of interest at the site.

Where it has colonised, it is out competing native plant species such as grey willow and rare copper moss.

'Unique plants'
The wet woodland is also an important habitat for many species of insects and wildlife, which may also become threatened if the balsam is left unattended.


The plant was first introduced into Britain from Asia in 1839.
Environment Agency Wales is working with the landowners at Abersoch Golf club to clear the plant.

David Edwell, the agency's area manager for north Wales, said they had already removed large sections from the protected site, and aimed to have the whole site clear by the new year.

"Removing this invasive species is not only important for our native plants, but also for tourism and leisure, as the site is enjoyed by golfers and people who visit the site especially for its unique plants and wildlife," he added.

Since 2011 groups of volunteers have been working to clear the plant from parts of north Pembrokeshire.
 
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#16
Wildfires fanned by invasive grass species
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20612161
By Matt McGrath
Environment correspondent, BBC News

A continuous cover of cheatgrass fuels an intense fire in the American west

New research indicates that a species of invasive grass is making wildfires in the western US larger, hotter and more frequent.

Scientists say that a variety called cheatgrass dries out and burns more rapidly than other vegetation.

They believe it has fuelled almost 80% of the largest fires in the west over the last 10 years.

Researchers are looking at a range of solutions including using a fungus to attack the grass seed.

Originally transported to the US in soils on board ocean going ships, the noxious, weedy grass continued its journey west in the 1800s with settlers and cattle ranchers.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

Cheatgrass promotes fires that are easily ignited, and spread rapidly”

Dr Jennifer Balch
Penn State University
Smoking grass
The species gets its name because it grows very early and very quickly and then dies, cheating other varieties out of valuable nutrients.

It is widely dispersed throughout the Great Basin of the American west, an area of 600,000 sq km that covers parts of Nevada and Utah, Colorado, Idaho, California and Oregon.


Satellite imagery shows that cheatgrass dominated areas burned more rapidly and more frequently
Scientists have long suspected that it played a key role in wildfires but this report is the most definitive evidence yet. Researchers used satellite imagery from Nasa to compare burnt areas with regions where cheatgrass dominates.

According to lead author Dr Jennifer Balch from Penn State University, the connection between the two was clear.

"We were able to pick out this species from space because it dries out earlier than native species," she told BBC News. "We looked at all the really big fires, all the ones over 100 sq km in size and Cheatgrass influenced the majority of those, it's fuelling those really big fires."

Over the period from 2000 to 2009 Dr Balch and her colleagues say that cheatgrass influenced 39 of the 50 largest wildfires.

"Cheatgrass promotes fires that are easily ignited, and spread rapidly." she said. "They cover large areas and across this landscape that translates to more frequent fires."

Cheating by dying
The research suggests that cheatgrass and fires are in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Michael Kodas is an author and expert on wildfires in the western US. He agrees that cheatgrass is fire-dependent.

"I think the fires are believed to help the cheatgrass outcompete other species and expand its range faster, he told BBC News. "Basically the fires help speed the invasion."

Mr Kodas argues that the invasive species is extending the fire season across the Great Basin.

"Cheatgrass grows and dies earlier in the season," he said. "When native grasses and other plants are greening up and moist, it's already sprouted, spread its seed, and died. So after cheatgrass invades, wildfires can occur earlier in the season, when the native vegetation is still green and unlikely to burn."

Scientists are now working on ways of containing the threat and are investigating a range of control methods says Dr Balch.


The Constantia fire burning in California was most likely started by Cheatgrass
"Strategies can be as brute as mechanical removal or as intricate as introducing a fungus that attacks the seed. There are a lot of folks looking at ways to reduce or eliminate cheatgrass."

The researchers say that invasive grass species are increasing fires globally - From molasses grass in Hawaii to gamba grass in Australia.

The research is published in the journal, Global Change Biology.

Follow Matt on twitter
 

uair01

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#17
It gets really weird when warnings are given in the news about plants:
http://nos.nl/artikel/455799-onrust-om-onkruid-op-floriade.html

It's this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyperus_esculentus

A really devilish plant:

C.esculentus is known as one of the world’s worst weeds. The plant is extremely difficult to remove completely from lawns and gardens, where it is considered an intrusive weed. This is due to the plant having a stratified and layered root system, with tubers and roots being interconnected to a depth of 36 cm or more. The tubers are connected by fragile roots that are prone to snapping when pulled, making the root system difficult to remove intact. Intermediate rhizomes can potentially reach a length of 60 cm. The plant can quickly regenerate if a single tuber is left in place. In its competition for light, water and nutrients it can reduce crop yields and compromise quality.

When plants are small they are hard to distinguish from other weeds such as Dactylis glomerata and Elytrigia repens. Thus it is hard to discover in an early stage and therefore hard to counteract.

Once it is detected, many options for combating this weed, such as mechanical, by hand, grazing, damping and herbicides were used. Up to now, nobody found the ultimate solution.
 
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#23
UK bans sale of five invasive non-native aquatic plants
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21232108
By Mark Kinver
Environment reporter, BBC News

Floating pennywort, one of the species to be banned, can grow up to 20cm (8in) per day

Five species of invasive non-native aquatic plants are to be banned from sale, the UK government has announced.

In the first ban of its kind, officials hope the move will save money and help protect vulnerable habitats.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon said tackling the impact of invasive species costs £1.7bn each year.

The plants to be banned from April 2014 are water fern, parrot's feather, floating pennywort, water primrose and Australian swamp stonecrop.

"Tough laws to curb the sale of these plants could save the country millions of pounds as well as protecting wildlife such as fish and native plants," Mr Benyon said.

"But as well as saving money and protecting wildlife the ban will also help maintain access to rivers and lakes for anglers and watersport fans."

A Defra spokesman told BBC News that it was the first time that non-native plants have been banned from sale in England.

He added that the UK action was distinct from existing European Union safeguards that prohibit organisms harmful to native plants from entering the 27-nation bloc.

The plants have been listed in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, but it was only illegal to dump the plants into the wild.

Growing problem

The Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) described invasive species as plants that had been introduced (deliberately or accidentally) by humans since the last ice age, which were having a detrimental impact on the economy, wildlife or habitats of Britain.

Continue reading the main story

Alien invaders reaching the UK
It added that a recent study carried out in England showed that there were 2,721 non-native species living in England, of which the majority (1,798 or 66%) were plants.

A report in 2000 in Scotland found a minimum of 988 species, of which 70% were plants, it observed.

Defra said that the plants listed in the ban have been sold and planted in garden ponds but have escaped into the wild taking, overwhelming native species.

Because the plants had no natural controls in the habitat, there was little to limit the spread of the plants.

As a result, the plants formed dense mats in water, depleting oxygen and light availability, causing declines in the numbers of fish and other aquatic species.

As well as being a threat to native species, the NNSS said invasive non-native aquatic weed plants also contributed to increased flood risk and damaged structures such as bridges.

"We've recommended retailers not to sell these five plant species, in some instances, for at least a decade," said Keith Davenport, chief executive of the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association.

"So this is welcome news from Defra, making it very clear there is now a ban in place. We will continue to actively encourage our members to support the Be Plant Wise campaign."

Chris John, national ecologist at the Canal & River Trust, described the ban as the correct decision.

"Our waterways are unique wildlife corridors, home to huge variety of animals and plants, to which non-native invasives can cause all sorts of problems," he told BBC News.

"They grow rapidly, choking up canals and rivers, which affects some of our best wildlife spots and creates problems with navigation.

"As a charity, we spend a considerable amount of time and effort managing these outbreaks and the ban on sale will help reduce the chance of their reintroduction."

Carrie Hume, head of conservation policy for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust said: "Thankfully, some of the most destructive non-native plants will no longer be on sale in our garden centres.

"This is the right move - the environmental and economic cost of dealing with this problem is already huge and dealing with it now is a great saving for the future."

The ban means that all retailers will now have to stop selling these plants or face a fine of up to £5,000 and possibly up to six months in prison.

Although details of the ban have been announced now, it will not come into force until next spring to give retailers enough notice to conform to the new measures and identify and stock alternative plants.
 
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#24
Fortunately there were no Triffids about.

Hillwalking couple rescued from Rhododendron mountain forest after five hours

The scene of the rescue

Two hillwalkers were rescued from a forest in the Knockmealdown Mountains after a five-hour ordeal.

The couple, in their 50s, were reportedly trapped in the forest of Rhododendron plants over the weekend.

Rescuers from the South Eastern Mountain Rescue team managed to battle through the virtually "impenetrable" plants to free them.

Hailing from the Waterford area, the couple had attempted to hike around the Tipperary/Waterford border before they got into trouble.

The mountain rescue team received a distress call at 17.24 on Sunday evening via Cahir garda station.

"The married couple were two experienced walkers and they were very well equipped," SEMR team leader Ray Bradfield told independent.ie

"They had walked to the summit of the Knockshanahullion. But instead of taking the normal route down, they attempted to take the Bay Lough route. This brought them into steep ground and essentially impenetrable forest."

"They basically got in a position that they could neither go up nor down. They then contacted Mountain Rescue for assistance," he added.

Cahir River Rescue were also called in to assist the SEMR team because of the difficulty of the rescue.

All the members of both rescue team are volunteers and take no payment to carry out the work that they do.
- See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/hi ... iKy2g.dpuf
 

rynner2

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#25
Bee orchid surprises Kew experts at Wakehurst Place

A native wild flower has surprised experts by growing on highly acidic clay soil at Wakehurst Place, Kew's country garden in West Sussex.
The bee orchid, usually found on chalk downland in southern England, has appeared near the attraction's visitor centre.

A spokesman said the orchid has self-seeded and spread into a "thriving colony" on the premises.
"The most spectacular array yet" was produced in 2014, he added.

"Each year more of their intriguing blooms are appearing in a soil type they shouldn't be thriving on," said horticulturalist Trudy Ede.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-27925670
 

krakenten

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#26
The rhododendron is no joke.

Those thickets of the plant were once called 'rhododendron hells'-they entangled and killed animals and people.

There are tales of animal and human skeletons being found in them after wildfires.
 

Cyclops

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#28
:D Thanks for posting that - made my evening!

In a way I can see her point - they are kind of creepy in the dark, in a Langoliers sort of way...
 
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