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Gujarat's Ban on Conocarpus Plant: Invasive Species Control



  Oct 07, 2023

Invasive Species Conocarpus Plant Ban in Gujarat


1. What decision did the Gujarat government recently make about the Conocarpus plant?

• The Gujarat government banned the fast-growing decorative exotic species of the Conocarpus plant.
 

2. Why did the Gujarat government ban the Conocarpus plant?

• Conocarpus pollen can cause asthma and cough.
 
• Its roots can damage underground pipelines and telecom wires.
 
• It's a water guzzler and an invasive species that can overpower indigenous species.
 

3. Where is Conocarpus primarily found?

• Conocarpus is a mangrove shrub found in shorelines and river beds in subtropical and tropical regions.
 

4. What are some characteristics of the Conocarpus plant?

• It's easy to manage and prune, low maintenance, can grow up to 20 meters quickly, and expands through multiple trunks. Cattle don't find it palatable, and it withstands dry heat.
 

5. What is the stance of experts on the Conocarpus plant?

• Lokendra Balasaria, a landscape architect, mentioned that while exotic species should generally be avoided, some benefits of Conocarpus, like high carbon sequestration, are beneficial for urban areas.
 

6. What is the primary concern regarding the introduction of exotic plants?

• Foreign plants can behave differently after 20-30 years as they adapt, potentially becoming invasive, and there are inherent risks with foreign species.
 

7. Are there other exotic invasive species used in urban forestry and landscaping?

• Yes, one widespread example is Prosopis Juliflora, known as Gando Baval in Gujarati and Vilayati Kikar in Hindi.
 

8. What will happen to the existing Conocarpus plants after the ban?

• The existing saplings won't be uprooted instantly but will be gradually pruned.
 

9. Is it possible to completely eliminate Conocarpus?

• Eliminating Conocarpus completely might take several years, and due to the absence of a monitoring and penalizing mechanism, it might be a challenge.


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