Invasion of the Japanese Knotweed

By: Greyson Brown

Japanese Knotweed, also known as Fallopia japonica.
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The Japanese Knotweed originally came from eastern China, the Korean peninsula, as well as Japanese home islands. This shows the Japanese Knotweed populations in China.

Details of Invasion Issues

Originially, it was spread to mainland Asia due to Japanese incursion on the Korean Peninsula in the late 1500s, and then spread to mainland China. It continued spreading throughout all of China, and now has spread throughout all of the densely populated regions of China (essentially the most eastern sections of China). As Europeans began exploring and trading with Oriental nations, the Japanese Knotweed expanded throughout Europe, especially Britain, however it has spread throughout most of Europe. Initially it was brought over in 1850, and has since colonized most of Scotland, Wales, England, and Ireland. It has also expanded into the US and Canada starting in the late 1800s, with 42 states getting infected by Japanese Knotweed, and all but two Canadian provinces currently, however, some Canadian provinces are fortunately destroying the species.

Prognosis and Human Influence

Well, this plant is rather feisty to say the least. There have been documented cases of the plants being planted on one side of a road, and over a short period of time it consumes an entire road. It is insanely OP. In another case, in a three year time span it grew over a whole train. Damages done by the plant so far have totaled in the low billions of dollars. Humans have increased the damage brought by the species, as they transferred the plant over to Europe and North America.

Can Humans Reduce Impact?

Yes, through the use of pesticides and there is also certain bacteria that could be used to increase effectiveness. Also, they could eat mass quantities of it, you know maybe into their salads? It would be interesting to say the least.

Food Web of the Japanese Knotweed.

The Japanese knotweed is obviously a plant, which therefore means that it produces energy through the process of photosynthesis. Humans actually can eat Japanese knotweeds, which prevents some damage spurned on by Japanese Knotweeds. Also, the Japanese Knotweed is eaten by multiple fungi in Japan, as well as some insects such as Aphalra itadori which is native to Japan, ans is used by many countries to hunt the plants.
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