Title

Close Encounters with Ireland's Invasive Species

Document Type

Other

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

1.5 EARTH AND RELATED ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Publication Details

RTE Brainstorm, Updated / Monday, 8 Apr 2019 12:47

Abstract

That song by Genesis manages to capture the emotions that are often present in our discussion on invasive species. Invasive species are species that have been introduced, deliberately or accidentally, by humans to a region and in time have a negative impact on the economy, wildlife or habitats of the region.

The Giant Hogweed exhibits key traits of an invasive species. Introduced to Britain and Ireland in the 19th century as garden ornamental, it soon escaped to the wild and is now found on damp ground along river banks. My first "alien" encounter was with Giant Hogweed on an allotment in south county Dublin in the early 1980s. As I cut back the three metre tall giants, the sap from one left a long-lasting burn on my hand.

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