The Gujarat govt has banned the planting of ornamental Conocarpus trees in forest or non-forest areas, citing their adverse impacts on environment and human health. Earlier, Telangana too had banned the plant species.
GS III: Species in News
Dimensions of the Article:
- Conocarpus plants
- Gujarat Bans Conocarpus Plants: Reasons and Similar Cases
- Similar Cases of Unfavorable Plant Species
- Conocarpus is a genus consisting of two species of flowering plants within the Combretaceae family.
- These plants are commonly found in tropical regions across the world.
Two Distinct Species
- Conocarpus erectus (Buttonwood or Button Mangrove)
- A mangrove shrub that thrives along tropical and subtropical shorelines globally.
- Popularly used in landscaping for gardens, parks, and indoor settings.
- Exhibits rapid growth and minimal leaf shedding, making it suitable for creating natural green walls when pruned skillfully.
- Conocarpus lancifolius
- A tree species native to coastal and riverine areas in Somalia, Djibouti, and Yemen.
- Found in various regions, including the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and South Asia.
Gujarat Bans Conocarpus Plants: Reasons and Similar Cases
Ban on Conocarpus Planting
- The Gujarat government has imposed a ban on planting ornamental Conocarpus trees in both forest and non-forest areas.
- Conocarpus, a fast-growing exotic mangrove species, had gained popularity in Gujarat for enhancing greenery.
Reasons for the Ban
- Research reports have revealed adverse environmental and health impacts associated with Conocarpus.
- The species blooms in winter, releasing pollen that leads to health issues like colds, coughs, asthma, and allergies in nearby areas.
- The extensive root system of Conocarpus damages telecommunication lines, drainage systems, and freshwater networks.
- The leaves of Conocarpus are unappetizing to plant-eating animals, affecting local ecosystems.
Similar Cases of Unfavorable Plant Species
- Vilayati Kikar in Delhi
- In 2018, the Delhi government initiated the removal of Vilayati Kikar from the Central Ridge, Delhi’s green lung.
- This non-native tree was introduced in the 1930s by the British and quickly overtook native species, harming local biodiversity and water tables.
- Eucalyptus in Kerala
- British introduction of Eucalyptus to Munnar, Kerala, for use as fuel in tea plantation boilers had detrimental effects.
- In 2018, Kerala’s forest department ceased acacia and eucalyptus cultivation in forests due to their negative impact on fodder availability and forest habitats.
-Source: Indian Express