The Impacts of Kudzu

One consequence of humans interacting with the environment is the impact that invasive species have produced in foreign environments.  Invasive species are plants and animals that have moved from their native habitats into new areas.  My group researched one example of an invasive species known as kudzu.  Kudzu is a plant that is native to Japan and was introduced into the U.S. in 1876.  In 1876,  the U.S. celebrated its 100th birthday by hosting a Centennial Exposition.  Countries all over the world were invited to come and share their culture and celebrate with the U.S.  The Japanese exhibit at the exposition was a garden with many different types of plants.  The kudzu plant was on display and caught the eyes of  U.S. farmers because it had large leaves and was sweet smelling.

Although the U.S. did not intend to bring kudzu into the country, farmers did decide to keep it in the U.S.  The kudzu plant brought benefits to the U.S. but also problems for the environment.  In addition to its ornamental appearance, kudzu was beneficial because it serves as a food source for goats.  The goats provide milk and wool which generates money for farmers.  However, one cost of kudzu is that it grows very rapidly.  Since the plant is vine like and grows tall,  it prevents trees from getting enough sunlight and leads to the destruction of forests.  Therefore, there are a variety of consequences when humans interact with the environment.  It is important to know the costs and benefits before taking action.

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3 thoughts on “The Impacts of Kudzu

  1. 16chyde

    Kudzu sounds really annoying, is there any way to get rid of the Kudzu once it invades a forest without damaging the forest?

    Reply

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