Giant Hogweed Research Paper

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The control and eradication of invasive species in Washington State is an important part of maintaining the diversity and wellbeing of our ecosystems. One invasive species common to us, Heracleum mantegazzianum, otherwise known as giant hogweed, is a Class A weed and must be eliminated where encountered (Noxious Weed Control Board). H. mantegazzianum is recognizable by its immense height of up to 20 feet, and its thick stalks support umbels of small, clustered white flowers. It can be distinguished from plants of similar appearance by purple blotches located on the stems (Noxious Weed Control Board). They are commonly found near riverbanks and roadsides. (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation). H. mantegazzianum owes much of its success as an invasive species to its reproductive capabilities as an angiosperm. According to Reece et al, sexual reproduction for the angiosperms begins in the flower on a mature sporophyte plant. Within the anther the male microsporocytes undergo meiosis to …show more content…

Firstly, it is a threat to native species and perilous to the ecosystems they colonize by stealing resources. Second, the formation of their roots contributes to soil erosion by the creation of bare soil. Finally, the sap contained within all parts of the plant sensitizes human skin to UV radiation and leads to photo-dermatitis (Noxious Weed Control Board). For these reasons, it is imperative that this weed is eradicated in the state of Washington. Different methods of eliminating giant hogweed exist, with varying results. For young plants, cutting the root 6 inches below the earth can be effective when infestations are small. For larger infestations and with greater success, herbicides containing triclopyr or glyphosate may be applied to giant hogweed. Treated infestations must be monitored for many years following to ensure no regrowth (Nehrbass et

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