Navigation Links
Invasive kudzu is major factor in surface ozone pollution, study shows
Date:5/17/2010

Kudzu, an invasive vine that is spreading across the southeastern United States and northward, is a major contributor to large-scale increases of the pollutant surface ozone, according to a study published the week of May 17 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Kudzu, a leafy vine native to Japan and southeastern China, produces the chemicals isoprene and nitric oxide, which, when combined with nitrogen in the air, form ozone, an air pollutant that causes significant health problems for humans. Ozone also hinders the growth of many kinds of plants, including crop vegetation.

"We found that this chemical reaction caused by kudzu leads to about a 50 percent increase in the number of days each year in which ozone levels exceed what the Environmental Protection Agency deems as unhealthy," said study co-author Manuel Lerdau, a University of Virginia professor of environmental sciences and biology. "This increase in ozone completely overcomes the reductions in ozone realized from automobile pollution control legislation."

Lerdau and his former graduate student, lead author Jonathan Hickman now a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University used field studies at three sites in Georgia to determine the gas production of kudzu. They then worked with Shiliang Wu and Loretta Mickley, atmospheric scientists at Harvard University, who used atmospheric chemistry computer models to evaluate the potential 50-year effect of kudzu invasion on regional air quality.

"Essentially what we found is that this biological invasion has the capacity to degrade air quality, and in all likelihood over time lead to increases in air pollution, increases in health problems caused by that air pollution, and decreases in agricultural productivity," Lerdau said.

"This is yet another compelling reason to begin seriously combating this biological invasion. What was once considered a nuisance, and primarily of concern to ecologists and farmers, is now proving to be a potentially serious health threat."

Ozone acts as an irritant to the eyes, nose and throat, and can damage the lungs, sometimes causing asthma or worsening asthma symptoms. It also is a mutagen and can cause lung cancer.

Ozone, while essential to the health of the Earth in the upper atmosphere where it shields the surface from excess ultraviolet radiation, is hazardous to human health when it forms at the earth's surface. This occurs most often in the summertime as plants grow and produce chemicals that react with the air.

Introduced to the United States in the late 19th century, kudzu, with its unique nitrogen-fixing physiology, allows a rapid, nearly uninhibited rate of growth, about three times the rate of trees and other vegetation. The vine was cultivated more extensively in the 1920s and 1930s as a control for soil erosion and rapidly became known as "the vine that ate the South."

In recent, milder winters, Kudzu has expanded its range northward into Pennsylvania and New York.

"What was once a Southern problem is now becoming an East Coast issue," Lerdau said.

Various strategies are used for controlling and eradicating kudzu, including livestock grazing, burning, mowing and herbicides.


'/>"/>

Contact: Fariss Samarrai
fls4f@virginia.edu
434-924-3778
University of Virginia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Invasive Australian jellyfish sighted in Gulf of Mexico in summer 2007
2. New chemically-sensitive MRI scan may bypass some invasive diagnostic tests in next decade
3. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
4. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
5. Minimally invasive heart surgery research wins NIH award
6. Smithsonian identifies invasive crab species in Panama Canal expansion area
7. Smithsonian identifies invasive crab species in Panama Canal expansion area
8. Book on weeds and invasive plants discusses how to manage them using ecological approaches
9. A new baseline of invasive plants in Isabela
10. Team of scientists develops non-invasive method to track nerve-cell development in live human brain
11. Relationship between invasive plants, fire subject of new report
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/22/2016)... , December 22, 2016 SuperCom (NASDAQ: ... secure solutions for the e-Government, Public Safety, HealthCare, and Finance sectors ... SuperCom, has been selected to implement and deploy a community-based supportive ... Northern California , further expanding its presence in the ... This new ...
(Date:12/19/2016)... , 19 de diciembre de 2016  Mosaic Biomedicals SL anunció ... acelerado de MSC-1, un anticuerpo humanizado que se espera comenzar a ... con múltiples sitios previstos a lo largo de Europa y Norteamérica. ... MSC-1 es el ... de leucemia (LIF), una citoquina pleiotrópica que se sobreexpresa en ciertos ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... The global wearable medical device market, in terms of value, is ... billion in 2016, at a CAGR of 18.0% during the forecast ... Growth ... devices, launch of a growing number of smartphone-based healthcare apps compatible ... and increasing focus on physical fitness. Furthermore, growing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... DaVita Clinical ... spectrum of drug and device development, and Prism Clinical Research , a ... today announced Verified Clinical Trials (VCT) has been selected by both ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... BETHESDA, Md. , Jan. 18, 2017  Northwest ... company developing DCVax® personalized immune therapies for operable and ... Marnix Bosch , Chief Technical Officer of NW Bio, ... Thursday, January 19, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel ... Dr. Bosch will chair the session entitled "New Therapeutic ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX ), ... a live webcast of its Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Tuesday, ... webcast can be accessed from the BD corporate website at ... 2017. ... BD BD is a global medical technology company that is ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 2017 According to a new market research report "In ... Disease), & End User (Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories, Academic and Research Institutions) - Global ... 739.9 Million by 2021 from USD 557.1 Million in 2016, growing at a ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: