Giant Weed Said Border Security Obstacle


LAWRENCE, Kan., Dec. 30 (UPI) — A giant invasive weed is threatening the ecosystem along southern U.S. rivers and could hamper security efforts on the U.S.-Mexico border, researchers say.

Scientists writing in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management report areas of giant reed, Arundo donax, are encroaching on the waters of the Rio Grande River in Texas, overrunning international border access roads and creating a dense cover for illegal activities.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has called for a plan to control the giant reed, more commonly known in Texas as Carrizo cane, a non-native bamboo-like plant that can grow more than 32 feet tall.

Aerial surveys have provided the first accurate estimates of the infestations and will prove useful not only to government agencies but also to land owners, researchers said.

To support its rapid growth rate, Carrizo can consumes large amounts of water relative to that consumed by native vegetation, and can destroy wildlife habitat, they said.


UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.