Spotlight on invasive species

The results of the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year have been announced at the beginning of the month and although not reason for the photograph do present an opportunity to put the spotlight on the problems of non-native invasive species.

The overall winning photo is certainly impressive but also controversial as it shows Russell lupins growing wild in New Zealand where  they are classed as an invasive weed   by the Conservation Dept. who state: ‘Forms dense  stands, prevents native plants establishing. Increased soil nitrogen may induce change in species composition in plant communities. Causes sand and gravel to build up, altering shape of rivers and contributing to flooding and erosion. Increased cover prevents some birds nesting, and increases predation  for those bird species that do.’

One New Zealand paper has already headlined  the story as ‘Thug hiding in an award wining photograph’.

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