The primary goal of this course to introduce UW students to India’s environmental policies pertaining to conservation and development. Through lectures, discussions and individual research, students will gain insights about how these policies were developed, put in place, and their outcomes.

This blog site highlights student accomplishments and travel experiences to India.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Impacts of the invasive weed, Mikania macrantha in southern India

Event: WY Undergraduate Research Day, Laramie, WY
Date: April 26, 2014

Alin Carrillo and BJ Bender presented their research findings on the impacts of an invasive weed on the native plants and animals, and agricultural crops in Southern India.

Mikania macrantha (American rope or mile-a-minute weed) is native to Central and South America, but an invasive species in India’s Western Ghats, a biodiversity hot spot.

This weed out-competes native species by producing seeds at an extremely quick rate and spreads by attaching its seeds to the hair in the coats of animals that pass by this plant as well as through wind dispersal.

Like most invasive species, it prefers disturbed areas, which makes it a threat to riparian areas, road sides, crop fields, and areas of development. This weed has been found to kill entire trees as well as tea and rubber plants, banana, coconut and oil palm trees. Presence of this weed also limits the growth of other more palatable species, which decreases vegetation availability for consumption by the native wildlife of the Western Ghats.

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