Sunday, December 7, 2014

Invasive Species: Noxious Weed of Oregon

Invasive Species: Noxious Weed of Oregon

Author: Geoffrey J. Janke

Contact: gjanke@pdx.edu

For a plant to become a noxious week in Oregon it must undergo an application and selection process. The Oregon Department of Agriculture processes applications for noxious weeds on an annual basses.

Oblong Spurge (Euphorbia Oblongata) is native to Macedonia, Albania, Aegean Islands Western Turkey, and Greece. Oblong Spurge is found at elevations ranging from 650-2,600 ft.         Oblong Spurge is scattered thought the west coast. Throughout Washington, Oregon, and California.

This plant was first introduced as an ornamental plant and is believed to have been spread through plant sales. Additionally, it has spread though agricultural practices. Oblong Spurge can be found in grass fields that are harvested for grass hay and redistributed thought the west. The seeds are robust and can survive transportation throughout the region. Oblong Spurge reseeds itself by distributing its seeds forcefully. The mature portions of the plat that contain seeds erupt when they reach full maturity or come in contact with other plants or animals in the environment

Oblong Spurge is considered an aggressive competitor in it its environment. Establishment crowds out other species of plants, becoming the dominant species by overcoming/overcrowding the sounding environment.

The most effective way to fight Oblong Spurge is to treat it with herbicide. The plant resists trimming as it grows rapidly. Plucking the species from the ground is not effective considering its large root system.

The greatest difficulty in fighting this species is believed to be raising awareness of its invasive nature. Oblong Spurge is sought after for its aesthetics and many gardeners choose to plant this species because of its beauty and robust natures.

Invasive species have impacts on the chemistry of the water, diversity of species, and even the food web. Fighting against invasive species is a fight for biodiversity. Invasive species overrun the environment they are introduced to thereby overrunning the diversity in the environment.

Contact: gjanke@pdx.edu 

Sources:

ODA Plant Programs, Noxious Weed Control. (n.d.). Noxious Weed Listing Process. Retrieved from: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/PLANT/WEEDS/Pages/weedlistingprocess.aspx

Oregon Department of Agriculture. (2013). Plant Pest Risk Assessment for Oblong Spurge,  Euphorbia oblongata. Retrieved from: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/PLANT/WEEDS/docs/pdf/ra_oblongspurge2013.pdf
 

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