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  • Context (DTE): Lantana remains a challenge for the ecosystem and food security.

    Lantana Camara

Spread of Lantana

  • Lantana is on the IUCN’s list of top 100 invasive species.
  • The native range of Lantana camara is Central and South America.
  • It was introduced in the country as an ornamental plant by the British in the 1800s.
  • Lantana occupy 40 per cent of forests, including tiger reserves.
  • Lantana has also invaded most pasture lands in the country.
  • Lantana camara is known to be toxic to livestock, causing liver damage and photosensitivity.
  • It is difficult to eradicate due to rapid spread, infestation intensity, allelopathy, opportunistic growth behaviour, reproductivity biology traits, and tenacious resistance to cutting and burning.

Allelopathy

  • Allelopathy is a biological phenomenon in which one organism produces biochemicals that influence other organisms’ growth, survival, development, and reproduction.
  • Allelochemicals can be used as growth regulators, herbicides, insecticides, and antimicrobial crop protection products.
  • One species can be an allopath for some but not for other species.

Usage of Lantana

  • Residents used the dried lantana stems to fence their fields or burn them as charcoal.
  • Lantana leaves can also be used for antimicrobial, fungicidal and insecticidal properties.

Removal of Lantana

  • Insects and other biocontrol agents have been implemented with limited degrees of success.
  • Mechanical control of Lantana can be effective but is labour-intensive and expensive.
  • Herbicides to manage Lantana are effective but expensive, with severe environmental consequences.
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