Alligator Weed

Essay by HaxaroJunior High, 9th gradeA-, June 2009

download word file, 2 pages 5.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 32 times

Alternanthera PhiloxeroidesAlternanthera Philoxeroides, also known as alligator weed is asemi-immersed aquatic plant. It originated in the Parana River inArgentina, but has spread too many parts of the world, and isconsidered an invasive species in Australia, China, New Zealandand the United States of America.

Alligator weed is a native plant ofthe Parana River floodplains ofnorthern Argentina and adjacentcountries.

It is believed that alligator weed was accidentlyintroduced into Australia while shipping ballast throughthe Carrington Newcastle Docks. It was first recorded in 1946 and has spread across the restof Australia since.

Alligator weed causes major blockages of water flow in waterwayssuch as irrigation canals and rivers. It readily establishes in andcovers extensive surface areas of lake. It also accumulates heavymetals and calciumoxalate which canbecome toxic tohumans at certainlevels.

Alligator Weed has been eradicated fromTasmania and is currently restricted South-EastQueensland,New SouthWales, Victoriaand parts ofthe SouthernBrigalow Belt.

Controlling the spread of Alligator weed has been along fought battle, as herbicidal treatment is noteffective at all in controlling the spread of thisnoxious weed, partly because herbicides break upthe plant into small fragments which can float intonew areas, and re-establish.

Another way that authorities are controlling the spread ofAlligator Weed is by biological control, using the AlligatorWeed Flea Beatle which eats the leaves, and the defoliationof Alligator weed kills the plant, and clears the waterway!It is now estimated that Alligator Weed covers over 3,950 hectares of water bodiesthroughout New South Wales.

The Australian Federal Government Department of theEnvironment, Water, heritage and arts, New SouthWales and the Victorian State Government all are tryingto control the spread of Alligator Weed and haveinformation on their website about how to control anderadicate the spread of Alligator Weed within Australia.

The Stem of alligator Weed is a hollow prostate stem formed by dense interwoven mats,with dark green leaves that...