PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alien plant "weedbusting". Armed with a herbicide spray gun, face mask and protective suit, "weed- buster" Chris Zimmer sprays a plot of weed grass. He is working in rainforest of Volcanoes National Park on Big Island, Hawaii. The grass is African kikuyu, a very hardy alien species. It is thought 5 foreign plant species and 20 insect species are introduced to Hawaii each year. Zimmer is part of a "weedbuster" team who set about clearing areas of foreign plant invaders. Some weeds, like Kahili ginger, may grow in dense plantations more than 2 metres high and need to be hacked down by machete. Plant weeds, like alien animals, may outcompete native species and destroy the rainforest ecology.
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