Conocarpus is Destroying Plant Biodiversity of Our Big Cities

Conocarpus is recently introduced much famous lush green plant. Its botanical name is Conocarpus erectus which belongs to family compretaceae. It is a fast-growing medium size tree. It can be trimmed to shrubs. It can be shaped in various shapes so vital role in topiary work. It is It is becoming most popular in big cities i.e. Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad etc. of Pakistan. This tree is not native to our area.

Mujahid Ali*, Hafiz Muhammad Kashif**
*UOS, Horticulture; **Horticulture, UAF

It is recently introduced in our landscape but has captured area within no time. It is among the most fast-growing plant having countless properties making it the most valuable plant. It is fit in all places due to its hidden resistant mechanism to salinity, heat, cold, waterlogging and drought etc. It can tolerate salt-affected soils, water shortage, hard soils, smoky areas, and waterlogging conditions. It is best known for its growth where other such plants fail to grow. It can grow along and between traffic roads. It has a very positive and clearing effect in the environment. It is facilitating to keep balance and stabilizing temperatures, enhance photosynthesis, reduce noise pollution, and holds off dust.

It is destroying our biodiversity in big cities due to its characteristics of growing every kind of environment and each type of soil. It is an exotic plant but replacing every plant threatening our landscape to monoculture rather than multicultural landscape. It also influences the growth of other plants in the vicinity of its root. It has health hazard effects too which has been observed and becoming ban in various countries of the world. For example, it was brought to Kuwait in 1988 which gained much popularity but now it is ban there. One of the main objective of growth of plants is to reduce the CO2 level in the air. It is research out and reported that it is consuming very less amount of CO2 as compared to others. So, if it is not fulfilling its main requirement it is of no use. In gulf countries, it is ban in the landscape as its fast and hard growing roots are breaking underground pipes. Its fast-growing nature of roots is harmful to the base of buildings.

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Finally, it is stated that we should avoid its misuse. Government landscape agencies should uproot extra conocarpus plants and plant other plants suitable to that environment. Avoid growing where there are underground pipes and near buildings. Avoid its excessive plantation and diversify our environment.

Mujahid Ali

I am a PhD scholar in Institute of Horticultural Sciences, UAF and Visiting Lecturer in Horticulture Department in University of Sargodha.

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