Front Porch Blog

Foreign bug may mean extinction for native plant

[ North Carolina ] The red bay is the beautiful evergreen tree of coastal lowlands. In fact in many coastal swamps, it is the dominant broadleaf tree. But this unique tree, which forms part of an increasingly threatened ecosystem from our alterations of the landscape, may vanish from the Carolinas because of an exotic insect. An Asian beetle could destroy all American red bay trees. Like the American chestnut, dogwood, elm and other formerly abundant native trees, it is a victim of worldwide commerce and an absolute lack of enforcement or of inadequate formulation of import rules meant to protect native flora and fauna. Exotic pests brought here from elsewhere in the pet, nursery plant and shipping industries are the biggest and most expensive threats to the nation’s ecosystems, yet we seem powerless to stop them.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes




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