Kudzu: The plant that ate the South

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by EDHSKaTuc
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Ecology
Grade:
9

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Kudzu: The plant that ate the South

Kudzu affects the environment in many impactful ways. It doesn't allow other plants to grow as it cuts off nutrition supply for the vegetation to grow anymore. Not only is it killing vegetation such as, crops, it is also taking over forests. Kudzu grows very fast (30cm a day) which leads to it covering land, trees, houses, fences and everything in its way. This is a problem because it forces vegetation and wildlife out of its habitat. This invasive species takes over land and has taken over more than half of the United States (32 states).

Kudzu

The plant that ate the South

Kudzu is a unique invasive plant that is in the form of a vine. The Kudzu vine feeds on sunlight and water; it grows at an incredible rate. This invasive specie's vine is brown at the thicker parts and the leaves are green. Kudzu is a harmful weed and will continue to take over many more parts of North America.

Kudzu is mainly found in the United States however, is starting to spread into Canada. The patch of Kudzu was found overlooking Lake Erie and measured 120 metres by 50 metres. At this point, they have decided that they can get it under control and will try and stop it from growing any further into Ontario. The ecosystem Kudzu was originally found in is an ecosystem in Japan until one day, gardeners in the United States decided that this vine would make a pretty plant in their garden, unaware of the consequences they would face. This is how Kudzu has spread so far into the country.

Kudzu is, clearly, a very invasive species. A way to eradicate Kudzu is to use herbicide. Herbicide is a toxic substance that kills unwanted plants/vegetation. Another way to kill Kudzu is to take out the entire plant root. Although this procedure may take time, especially when discussing eradicating Kudzu from a country, it is a way to eliminate the plant.

What effect does the species have on the environment and native species?

Where in Canada is the species found? What area? What ecosystems?

What does the species look like and feed on?

How could the species be eradicated?

Where did the species originate? How did it come to Canada? When did it first arrive?

Kudzu first originated in Japan and was used in a beautiful garden filled with plants from their country. Gardeners from the United States decided that Kudzu could be useful to them in their gardens as well as food for their livestock (goats, pigs, cows etc.). The growth of this invasive plant in the United States in 1876 left a big impact on future vegetation. In 2009, Kudzu was introduced to Ontario, on a hillside near Leamington, there was a patch of this plant (measurements above). Kudzu, was first brought to the US during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-Hbl0bV8FA


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