Monday, June 2, 2014

Piper aduncum L. invasion in Allah Valley Protected Landscape

Piper aduncum L. is a shrubby tree belonging to the family Piperaceae. It is commonly known as "matico" or spiked pepper. It is a native of the West Indies and Central America from Mexico to northern Argentina. It can form thickets and spreads by sprouts and suckers. It grows up to 8 m tall with a diameter of 10 cm or more. Leaves are alternate, distichous, elliptic, 12-22 cm long, shortly etiolate and softly hairy beneath. Flowers are cord-like, white to yellow inflorescence spikes that contain minute black seeds.

It inhabits disturbed rainforest areas and margins of up to 2000 m in altitude. It is also found along agricultural areas, roadsides, secondary forests or on forested ridges. It can live in areas with greater than 4000 mm of mean annual rainfall. It can colonize most soil types. It requires high levels of sunlight and a bare soil surface, indicating that disturbance is necessary for its establishment. 

Piper aduncum at the Allah Valley
Protected Landscape (photo taken
by Marianne Saniano, 14/06/09)

Lantana camara poisoning in cattle: A South African Experience

The weed, Lantana camara locally known as "lantana", "koronitas" or "kantutay", is a known IAS from the Central and South America with approximately 650 varieties reported to be expanding in different regions of the world. It was introduced in the Philippines during 1980s for ornamental purpose. However, it has invaded grassland areas, which has caused livestock mortalities affecting ranchers, subsistent farm families and backyard raisers relying on cattle as source of income.

Lantana plants have troterpenoid constituents, or pentacyclic triterpenes, called lantadenes (A & B), which are hepatogenic photosensitizers. These chemicals are concentrated in the leaves and in unripe and ripe fruits. During the dry season here in the Philippines, when there is scarcity of forage grasses, cattle resort to feeding on the dominant lantana weed resulting to poisoning and eventually, death.

L. camara uploaded from Wikimedia