Steve: Invasive Species and Hallow Stems Essay

Submitted By justin1108
Words: 693
Pages: 3

Invasive species are plants or animals that are introduced to other environments of their own. These species cause adverse effects of the habitats they invade on an environmental, economical, and ecological level. They threaten biological diversity and can upset the balance of living things in nature. Look for example at Human Beings, we are a major invasive species to many areas of the Earth we occupy. We have destroyed many other life forms both plant and animal, just as any invasive species can do to the environments they are introduced into. Fallopia japonica(Japanese Knotweed) for example is an invasive plant species. It is a perennial of the family Polygonaceae which is native to Eastern Asia. This plant has hallow stems and has a resemblance to bamboo even though the two species are not closely related. It has a very invasive root system and it can damage buildings, roads, and most other manmade structures. In some areas its even possible this plant can reduce the capacity of flood channels that carry floodwaters away. Is it feasible to say that these plants killed someone? Would the difference in the flood channels ability to carry water from these plants be capable of making such a negative difference? This plant forms extremely thick and dense growths that crowd out much of the surrounding plant life. It has great success growing in a variety of soil types. Another eerie fact is the rhizomes() can survive temperatures of -31F and can extend 23 ft horizontally and nearly 10 feet deep. This would create an extremely difficult task to remove if it threatened any buildings or other plant life you had concern for. To obtain an understanding of the effects of this particular invasive plant, we must first understand its uses and why anyone would contribute to the success of this bad plant. One reason being that Japanese knotweed is used in beekeeping as an important source of nectar for honeybees. They are used mainly in times of the year when many other species are not flowering. The honey yielded is a monofloral honey, which means that the honey is derived from one plant species and has a distinct taste. Secondly the young stems that grow are edible as a spring vegetable which has a flavor similar to sour rhubarb. Lastly this plant is known for its high concentration of resveratrol and flucoside piceid. This means it can replace certain grape byproducts. It is useful in this way even more because its year round growth and its ability to grow in many climates. The best way to control this weed is to use some form of…