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When the butterfly bush blossoms
Date:5/27/2008

letely and consequently become a problem. "Its success obviously lies in cultivation. Through selection and hybridization it came to a genetic change, enabling the Oregon grape to grow larger in Europe than in its American homeland ", Dr. Harald Auge of the UFZ explains the research results. The biologist and his colleagues from Halle had collected seeds from Oregon grape plants in the USA, Canada, Germany and the Czech republic and had grown the plants under controlled conditions in a greenhouse.

Ornamental shrubs and cultivated plants constitute a majority of the alien plant species that have become a problem and are therefore referred to as biological invaders by specialists. Biological invasions caused by humans are one of the causes of the dramatic world-wide decrease in animal and plant species. According to a study conducted by the Federal Environment Agency, the economic costs of 20 alien species investigated, amounted to approximately 167 million Euros in the year 2002 in Germany. More recent figures are not yet available. In the near future, health care costs caused by the highly allergenic Ragweed are to be investigated by the UFZ and financed by the Federal Ministry of Research.


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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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