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Spread of non native species costs the Irish economy €200 million annually

GDPR

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The estimated annual cost of invasive species to the Irish economy is almost €203 million, and to the island as a whole about €261 million. At one stage, it was realised that in 2005 that one such species, curly pondweed, had the potential to close Lough Corrib, which would have been a huge loss to tourism revenue. Up to 2013, some €2.2 million was spent by Inland Fisheries with the help of the EU, National Parks & Wildlife, and the OPW. An annual bill of €250,000 is spent just to keep this particular problem in check.

The big three of Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed pose the biggest threat and they are present all across the country and indeed the UK. Japanese Knotweed seems to pose the biggest problem and it has spread across the island of Ireland, particularly along watercourses, transport routes and waste grounds where its movement is unrestricted. Japanese knotweed can:
- Seriously damage houses, buildings, hard surfaces and infrastructure growing through concrete, tarmac and other hard surfaces in some cases.
- Threaten native plants and animals by forming dense thickets.
- Block routes used by wildlife to disperse.
- Riverside Japanese knotweed damages flood defence structures and reduces the capacity of channels to carry flood water.

Only female Japanese knotweed plants have been recorded to date in Ireland and the UK hence it is spread entirely from site to site through the deliberate or accidental movement of rhizome fragments or cut stems. Japanese knotweed has an extraordinary ability to spread vegetatively from crown, stem and rhizome (underground root) if disturbed. Even tiny amounts of cut stem, crown or rhizome are capable of producing a new plant. Controlling spread is therefore dependent on preventing the spread of the stem, crown or rhizome and it is notoriously difficult to kill, which can take 3-4 years to completely eradicate following a strict timing of spraying at the correct time. Indeed in the UK, a mortgage can be denied where it is found on a site, such is the damage that it can do.

So what's been done? Well on January 1st 2015, the EU introduced regulations on invasive alien species which seeks to address the problem in a comprehensive manner so as to protect native biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as to minimise and mitigate the human health or economic impacts that these species can have. Member states must take action to tackle these invasive species and the first list of 37 species which is comprised of 23 animals and 14 plants, was published in the last week and will take effect on August 3rd. The thread is aimed at raising awareness of the issue, and the links below give some useful information. If you have come across them yourself and the problem they cause, please share.

Finally I attach a picture of the big three, no doubt you've come across them already. Please note that the sap from giant hogweed will burn your skin and quite possibly, severely so.

Space invaders: the alien species that are costing us millions
Japanese knotweed - Invasive Species IrelandInvasive Species Ireland
Published - First list of invasive species to be regulated across the European Union - Biodiversity Ireland

Japanese knotweed:


Himalayan balsam:


Giant Hogweed:
 
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Accidental sock

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Can you smoke it.
No, but you can eat it...

Let

Note: "“One leaf or trimming can take root and that’s the end of your garden,” he said."....grand so
 

GDPR

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The first picture of Japanese knotweed, gives a clue as to its tough nature. It was no doubt brought in with the imported soil used to level the car park area with tarmac over the other layers put on top of the imported soil. This as you can see, proved no problem to this small sample of the plant which just grew through the tarmac. In not too long a time, if left unchecked, that whole area could be overgrown with it and it's really tough to completely get rid of as I alluded in the OP. The zig zag nature of the stems is the easiest way to identify it.
 

Ex celt

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Do not touch your hole(or anyone else's for that matter)if you make contact with knotweed. It will bring you out in Mount Etna Syndrome with or without the lava flow.
 

johnhan278

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Listen, and understand! That Japanese knotweed is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are all dead.
 

Accidental sock

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Listen, and understand! That Japanese knotweed is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are all dead.
GET TO THE CHOPPPAAAHHH!!!

Now, back to the thread....
 

GDPR

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Listen, and understand! That Japanese knotweed is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are all dead.
It's a problem, like many others and has the potential to get worse and perhaps be taken more seriously. But let's say you don't give a crap about biodiversity, wildlife and all that, which of course most people don't, but they can understand say how many houses can be built with 200 million bills.
 

johnhan278

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The Japanese Knotweed plants in Japan also have the local pests and diseases to contend with and suffer predation from a whole range of invertebrates and fungi. It is when a plant is introduced to a new setting without these pests and diseases that they thrive and out-compete the indigenous population.
 

johnhan278

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The only realistic, affordable answer is biological control - the release of a natural enemy from the knotweed's native range in Japan, to which (providentially) Japanese knotweed is almost uniquely vulnerable.

Jumping plant lice or psyllid we must introduce these
 

GDPR

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The only realistic, affordable answer is biological control - the release of a natural enemy from the knotweed's native range in Japan, to which (providentially) Japanese knotweed is almost uniquely vulnerable.

Jumping plant lice or psyllid we must introduce these
Such a solution has crossed my mind, and no doubt others too, yet there is the danger that the cure could prove worse than the disease. There would want to be research to assess the pros and cons so to speak of such an approach, of introducing another non native species.
 

johnhan278

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Oirish Examiner
This 250 million year old bug might eat up the Japanese Knotweed problem in Ireland
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Peter Dowdall


Peter Dowdall holds out great hope for a 250 million year old bug in the fight against Japanese knotweed.


Aphalara itadori as a name might mean nothing to you, but this little psyllid could yet be the saviour of the Irish countryside.

A psyllid is a jumping plant louse and one of the most primitive of bugs.
This 250 million year old bug might eat up the Japanese Knotweed problem in Ireland | Irish Examiner
 

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