Sunday, October 16, 2005

Fast and Loosestrife

Not content to live a boring life in the continental US, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) has finally made it into the wilds of Alaska. According to this story from the Anchorage Daily News, the famous purple-flowered weed has been seen growing along a creek in Anchorage. Alaskan scientists have started an awareness campaign to educate stakeholders about the plant, and then they are going to do something very smart: they're going to go dig the wild plants up. The next step, to convince people to stop planting it, will likely be a bit more difficult.


Sunwolf said...

What kind of effect could these have on the Alaskan environment?

Jennifer Forman Orth said...

sunwolf, I recommend you seek out this paper. While there have been many studies of purple loosestrife, that one is very clear about discussing the negative impacts (decreased biodiversity, reduced bird habitat, etc.) that the species has had in the continental US.