An Invasive weed called Ludwigia peruviana is posing a significant threat to elephant habitats and foraging areas in Valparai, Tamil Nadu.
GS III: Environment And Ecology
Dimensions of the Article:
- Ludwigia Peruviana: An Invasive Aquatic Plant
- Challenges in Prevention
Ludwigia Peruviana: An Invasive Aquatic Plant
- Originally native to Central and South America.
- Also known as primrose willow.
- Introduced as an ornamental species due to its attractive pale yellowish flowers.
- Has become an invasive weed in various swampy areas worldwide, causing ecological disruptions.
- Grows relatively tall, reaching a height of about 12 feet.
- Thrives in wetlands and water bodies as an aquatic plant.
- Exhibits rapid growth, outpacing many other harmful weeds.
- Prefers pre-monsoon temperature and monsoon rains for accelerated growth and spread.
Impact on Elephants and Biodiversity:
- The invasion of Ludwigia Peruviana poses a threat to elephant habitats, affecting the availability of essential food sources for elephants and other herbivores.
- The spread of this invasive weed leads to the loss of native plant species, impacting overall biodiversity in invaded areas and potentially forcing wildlife to move elsewhere, resulting in negative interactions with humans.
Challenges in Prevention:
- Ludwigia Peruviana is listed as a priority invasive plant in Tamil Nadu, highlighting the need for urgent containment and control measures.
- The elimination of Ludwigia presents challenges due to its growth in swamps, limiting the use of machinery to address the issue without harming the ecosystem.
- Manual removal is challenging as the plant breaks easily, and new growth can emerge from broken stems or roots.
- Hand-pulling and digging roots can be effective methods for control.
-Source: The Hindu