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Posted Sat Nov 6 2010: from BBC:
River Lagan under attack from invading alien plants
The River Lagan, one of Northern Ireland's major waterways, has been attacked by a highly invasive aquatic plant. Floating pennywort has been discovered along its banks. So far over five tonnes of the weed has been removed. The plant is native to North America. It was first brought into Ireland as a plant for tropical aquariums and ponds, but it has since escaped into the wild at a limited number of locations in Northern Ireland. It is capable of growing at a rate of 20cm a day and once established it can quickly form thick floating mats across the water's surface.... Ecologists in Northern Ireland are watching alien species encroaching on a number of fronts. Slipper limpets, muntjac deer and Japanese ironweed all have the potential to devastate local habitats. And the so-called Sudden Oak Death disease, a fungus attacking Japanese larch trees, has been found in at least five woodlands in Northern Ireland. Ironically it almost certainly came in on non-native or alien plants imported for ornamental gardens.
[Read more stories about: unintended consequences, invasive species, koyaanisqatsi]

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