New study counts the environmental cost of managing knotweed - Swansea University

tall broad leaved knoweed coverd in small white flwoers covering a large area under a bridge arch
knotweek covering a large area (photo: Swansea university)

New Swansea University research has looked at the long-term environmental impact of different methods to control Japanese knotweed.

The invasive species has been calculated to cost more than £165 million to manage every year in the UK alone. Its presence can blight property purchases for households across the country.

This has led to the development of different ways of trying to control it but with sustainability becoming increasingly important, understanding the effect of these management methods is vital.

A new study, led by biosciences lecturer Dr Sophie Hocking and looking at the entire life cycle and long term impacts of different management approaches, has just been published in online journal Scientific Reports.

Dr Hocking said: “In light of the current climate emergency and biodiversity crisis, invasive species management and sustainability have never been so important. Both of these are intrinsically linked – we know that invasive species can cause substantial negative ecological, social and economic impacts, and the way we manage these species should mitigate against this in a sustainable way to ensure we are not doing more harm than good. Although there has been more research into how we can best manage the plant, little is known about how sustainable these approaches are.”

Read the study: Assessing the relative impacts and economic costs of Japanese knotweed management methods

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Posted On: 17/03/2023

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