Sunday 20 May 2018 ,
Sunday 20 May 2018 ,
Latest News
  • PM talks tough against drugs
  • Bangabandhu-1 to reach orbit within 2-3 days
  • BNP concerns over democracy
  • Khaleda files bail pleas with HC in 3 cases
  • Next elections to be held as per constitution: Quader
  • 51pc cyber crime victims are women: study
  • 3 to die, 7 get life for killing Keraniganj businessman
3 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 February, 2018 12:22:41 AM
Print

Exotic plants threaten our ecosystem and biodiversity

An adult Eucalyptus absorbs 40 litre of water every day and the rate is staggering compared to the rate of water intake of other plant species
Sakib Hasan
Exotic plants threaten our ecosystem and biodiversity

All plants and trees of our immediate environment are not our life-savers. These living biological species in many cases pose serious threat to both the life and living of innumerable other species indeed. We all know that all living animals and plants are connected to one another through the complicated interdepending network called ecosystem. Once a single segment malfunctions, the whole system of invisible chain-relationship tends towards complications and counter-productive effects right on the ecological balance.

Obviously, I am referring to those exotic plants and trees like Eucalyptus, Akashmoni, Shishu, etc. now rampantly available plant species in every nook and corner of Bangladesh. Transplantation of exotic plant species is a very common phenomenon of the process of the civilization. However, once a single or a number of the species assume the role of the insectivorous one, it has to be replaced in the soonest possible time for the healthy growth of others essential for producing foods for us. Ground facts and realities suggest that instead of removing these aggressive species especially Eucalyptuses they are being planted at an alarming rate with a frenzied spree.

 One will simply shudder to know the catastrophic effects of this demonic tree. An adult Eucalyptus absorbs 40 litre of water every day and the rate is staggering compared to the rate of water intake of other plant species. No birds can even sit just for five minutes on the branches of the Eucalyptus as well as other exotic plants like Akashmoni let alone building nests on the branches of the Eucalyptus. With the increasing plantation of Eucalyptus on all types of terrains across Bangladesh, bird population is fast decreasing as a direct impact of losing their natural habitats. The jaundiced growth of the eucalyptus over the recent years undeniably figures prominently in the list of leading reasons behind the disappearance of ten indigenous bird species.

Eucalyptus was first planted in Bangladesh in 1867 from Australia. Its evergreen leaves, mild sweet scent and especially its fast growing timber made it popular among the aristocracy and the common people as well. Though the British colonizers brought it in Bangladesh for decoration purpose, it gradually began to be a highly profitable farming product to the poor and marginal farmers due to its incredibly fast growth. Amid the context of chronic timber shortage in a vastly populous country like Bangladesh, Eucalyptus comes to work like miracles catering to the increasing timber demands of the people. As a result, people especially the farmers became more enthusiastic in planting the Eucalyptus in their homesteads and farming plots instead of planting the indigenous fruit-saplings.

Again, the Forest department of Bangladesh recommended planting this plant species with a view to bringing the whole country within the coverage of rapid afforestation. They launched a number of schemes and projects like social forestation, agricultural forestation and the plant species they suggested overenthusiastically included prominently among others Eucalyptus and Akashmoni neither caring a straw nor knowing the massively adverse effects of these invasive plants. Afforestation is a must for our survival but that must not be like a Frankenstein-like one towards our ecology and biodiversity.

One of the severest counter-productive effects that the Eucalyptus produces on our ecology is obviously antibacterial one. The leaves of the Eucalyptus are so poisonous that it deters growing other plants in its closest vicinity. Most alarmingly, it seriously disturbs and prevents the process of decomposition of the soil by killing the helpful probiotic entities essential for the fertility of the soil and natural cleansing of the environment. Undoubtedly, Eucalyptus is widely used as an antibacterial medicinal plant but when we are going to plant it on massively huge land coverage then we have no option than facing mounting casualties so far as our ecology and biodiversity are concerned. Annihilating other plants and eco-friendly bacteria right from the soil, Eucalyptus just loosens the adhesive solidity of the soil eventually leaving it vulnerable to erosion.

Other than Eucalyptus, we will certainly get antibacterial substances from other plant species around our environment. However, once the balance of the biodiversity is disturbed, we all have to pay too highly to return to equipoise of the ecology. It sounds like just a mocking irony to me when we raise our protesting voice in a fanatic frenzy against pollution leaving the issue of removing the grossly invasive plants like Eucalyptus and Akashmoni  etc. from our whole scheme of national silviculture.

Though researches have proved the aggressive role of these plant species time and again, our experts and officials seem to turn a blind eye on the articles published in the leading national and international journals. It is already too late and that time is fast running out for taking a drastic decision before the whole situation goes beyond control.

We can hardly afford to think only for ourselves not thinking the least for the generations to come. In no way, we can leave a dangerously unlivable world to our children who will take over this only one livable planet when upon our departure.   

     

The writer, Assistant

Professor of English in

Bogra Cantonment Public School & College, is a contributor to

The Independent.

E-mail: shasanbogra1@gmail.com

 

 

Comments

Poll
Today's Question »
The education ministry plans to reduce the number of subjects and total marks in JSC and equivalent exams to lower the study pressure. Do you support this move?
 Yes
 No
 No Comment
Yes 100.0%
No 0.0%
No Comment 0.0%
Most Viewed
Digital Edition
Archive
SunMonTueWedThuFri Sat
0102030405
06070809101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031
More Editorial stories
Protecting water bodies Environment and forests minister Anisul Islam Mahmud was right when he said that nobody would dare to construct buildings by grabbing wetlands if one or two such buildings are demolished. But the obvious…

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting