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COSMIC RHINO

invasive weed could increase malaria in east africa

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I was browsing the news and came across this, it is very concerning.

 

please go to http://www.icipe.org then go to news their report has a link to an open access PLOS article

 

a highly invasive weed from nth and sth America parthenium hyssterphorus also called famine weed has the ability to support malaria carrying anopheles mosquitos without having them had a blood meal

 

the weed is

 

massively invasive outside its home region and is adapted to harsh environmental conditions

 

grows at a fast rtate and leaves a lot of small seeds in the ground

 

has spread extensively over cultivated and pastoral areas , including places where malaria is endemic

 

it has become a prfered plant food for malaria carrying mosquitos

 

produces a toxic substance called parthenin which causes dermatitis,hay fever and asthma in people

 

the plant is poisonous to livestock , and contaminates meat and milk

 

 

the plant produces sugars which feed the mosiquito and give them the energy to fly

 

the researchers are calling for urgent efforts to control the plant

 

well the researchers just mention east Africa, I can't see why it would not create the same problems if it spreads elsewhere

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Posted (edited)

My initial post came from just the news item

 

reading the PLOS article raises further concerns

 

the plant is native to the subtropics and tropics and of nth and sth America , and has extensively spread as invasive plant to cultivated and pastoral areas of asia, Australia, south, east and central Africa

 

there are govt control programs in Australia, Uganda , ethopia amongst other countries

 

the plant grows in a very aggressive way and has much potential to spread further , the study is just about east Africa but it is in areas with malaria so this is not good news

 

some of the areas of origin are affected by malaria

 

it must be the absence of its local competing plants which makes it a serious pest in other areas

 

the plant can suppress or even replace less competitive native species with a risk of disease spread

 

So livestock can die if they eat it, I wonder what it does to wildlife?

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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