While Alabama may have its congongrass, we here in the UK have our own invasive species of Far Eastern weed in the form of Fallopia japonica, better known as Japanese knotweed. In their great wisdom, our Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is planning to introduce another alien species – a form of plant lice – into the ecosystem to get rid of it. [image by dankogreen]
Laboratory tests were started on pests from Japan which control the knotweed by feeding on sap from its stems, causing the plant to die back.
The tests showed the chosen Aphalara itadori did not eat any other species, including closely related British plants and important crops.
Genius! I mean, the odds of a short-lifespanned insect evolving itself a wider diet when introduced to a totally new biosphere must be so small as to be negligible. Nothing could possibly go wrong with this plan!
Paging John Wyndham… would John Wyndham please report to the briefing rooms…