Invasion of the Aliens
The tsunami did more than kill people and suck up large amounts of graft and corruption. It also created an alien invasion of plant species that moved further inland:
Nearly six months after the disaster that killed more than 31,000 people in Sri Lanka, studies have found that the tsunami waves have pushed seeds of so-called alien invasive species from their coasts farther inland on the tropical island, the United Nations Environment Program said.Notice they just mention in passing the fact that the plants were already on the coast, evidently put there by the Plant Fairy (i.e, somebody thought "hey, let's get something different. Everyone else has palms and fronds. Let's do mesquite." And so they did. And along comes Mr. Tsunami, who airmails this bright idea further inland).
“In some areas, including important national parks, the wave has encouraged the spread of alien invasive species, such as prickly pears and salt-tolerant mesquite,'' the agency said in a statement.
Neither species is native to Sri Lanka, but they existed in small numbers in limited coastal areas, said Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, the country's best-known nature expert. He did not say how the species first arrived in Sri Lanka.
“Now they can pose a threat to our ecosystem,'' he said. “Our local plants and animals have not co-evolved with these alien plants so when alien plants dominate in the ecosystem they will reduce the diversity of the local fauna and flora.''I'll say. Where we live, the Japanese kudzu and honeysuckle threaten the life and limb of many a tree. But the special scourge in our yard is this:
Beautiful,no? But invasive doesn't begin to describe the torture of being owned by such a beast. Normally, mimosas live about fifteen years or so. Some plant biologists even term them a shrub rather than a tree. Well, this monster is going on thirty years old now. It's at least forty feet high and perhaps fifty feet wide. To give some perspective on its size, the small red area under the tree is the bench and begonia pictured in a previous post.
All those beautiful flowers are going to turn into seed pods. And because the mimosa is in the legume famly, all those pods will have at least six seeds. And most of those seeds will be viable. Imagine the thousands and thousands of mimosas that have been exterminated in the last thirty years on this patch of land.
"Get rid of it," you say, and we will, as soon as it dies. But its beauty, though brief, is quite enthralling, and so it lives on, spilling its wretched seed each Autumn, all the season long. And the following summer is spent eradicating its spawn.
I do wonder sometimes why kudzu, blackberry vines, black locusts, honeysuckle, and oh -- especially-- mimosas haven't taken over the world.
Such a brazen bunch. Invasive aliens, all.
Hat tip: Hyscience