Homework 6- Natural History Story

Carpobrotus edulus is an invasive plant species from South Africa. I grew up calling it ice plant, and with its large triangular leaves it is not hard to figure out where it got its name. The leaves of carpobrotus edulus have evolved to store water which the plant can then use to survive either times of intense drought, or even when it is uprooted from its original location.

Carpobrotus edulus is extremely effective at surviving in hostile environments and at reproducing to take over vast areas of land. The plant has short roots which allow it to spread quickly over coastal terrain that often lacks nutrients, specifically sand dunes. The plant can be cut into segments and still survive and re-anchor itself. The main problem that ice plant faces is, ironically, ice. The plant is completely intolerable to frost which keeps it near the stable climates of coastal regions.

Caltrans used the plant to line roadways for a while due to its intertwining root systems, but soon realized that these short roots and heavy leaves would actually add to erosion during times of heavy rain. Regardless of Caltrans' disinterest, carpobrotus edulus continues to flourish in California's mediterranean climate, and is forcing many native species of plants to struggle for survival.

Publicado el marzo 18, 2014 05:31 MAÑANA por bstudent bstudent


Fotos / Sonidos


Planta de Hielo (Carpobrotus edulis)




Marzo 17, 2014


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