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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Plant That Bleeds

University of Delaware scientists say they've found the secret weapon invasive wetland plants in the United States use to kill off their weaker neighbors.

Plant biologist Harsh Bais said the roots of an invasive strain of Phragmites australis, or common reed, exude an acid so toxic the substance disintegrates the structural protein in the roots of neighboring plants.

"Phragmites is taking over the marsh world," Bais said Friday in a release. "It's a horticultural disaster."

The tall, tasseled grass has overtaken tens of thousands of acres of wetlands in Delaware, decreasing biodiversity, reducing the food and habitat available to wildlife and altering wetland hydrology.

The report, published in the Journal of Chemical Ecology, said walnut trees, pine trees, ferns and sunflowers are among other plants that release harmful chemicals to prevent other plants from growing too close to them.

Posted by Ajay :: 11:53 AM :: 0 comments

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