The Green Hell Lives
May 17, 2010 4:47 PM Subscribe
posted by strixus (33 comments total)
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, Pueraria lobata
, may be causing double the emission of nitric oxide, and increases ozone pollution in areas it has overgrown, a recent study has shown
First introduced at the Centennial Exposition
as an ornamental plant 1876 from Japan, thanks to its lovely flowers
. It now constitutes an invasive species and is classified by the USDA as a noxious weed
, and is common throughout most of the south eastern US
. Planted widely by the Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service
) between 1935 and 1950, the spread of the plant has been virtually unchecked except by adverse growing conditions.
The study shows that the plant's very efficient nitrogen fixing properties increase the output of nitrogen by affected soils as part of their cycling
, greatly increasing the level of nitric oxide in the area. As well, the plant is highly efficient at outputting oxygen, leading to an increase of high level O2 events in areas with kudzu infestations.