In the News

Impacts of plant invasions become less robust over time

by e! Science News | Earth & Climate | Nov 20, 2013
This photo shows the African invader Melinis minutiflora in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park when first studied (left) and 20 years later.

Among the most impressive ecological findings of the past 25 years is the ability of invasive plants to radically change ecosystem function. Yet few if any studies have examined whether ecosystem impacts of invasions persist over time, and what that means for plant communities and ecosystem restoration.

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Over time, an invasive plant loses its toxic edge

by e! Science News, in Biology and Nature | Sep 1, 2009
An invasive plant in the US, garlic mustard, produces a potent toxin that kills the fungi on which native plants depend.

Like most invasive plants introduced to the U.S. from Europe and other places, garlic mustard first found it easy to dominate the natives. A new study indicates that eventually, however, its primary weapon – a fungus-killing toxin injected into the soil – becomes less potent.

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Stinkwort's fast growth could threaten CA's wine growers

by Edward Ortiz, in Agriculture | Aug 12, 2013
Stinkwort seedlings grow into a tumbleweed-like plant that has a turpentine-like odor, hence its name.

A new invasive weed has been expanding exponentially along roadways in the Sacramento region and the state, prompting plant scientists to warn that its unchecked growth could end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

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Why we must learn to love weeds

by Online Wall Stree Journal | The Saturday Essay | Jun 4, 2011
Coco Grass: Known to attack golf courses, it's been called "the world's worst weed." It mostly spreads by a network of underground tubers.

The best-known and simplest definition of a weed is "a plant in the wrong place," that is, a plant growing where you would prefer other plants to grow, or sometimes no plants at all. But it's a coarse definition and raises the question of what is the "right place" for a plant.

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