Estimated reading time: 8 minute(s)
The Prosopis Glandulosa invasive tree species pose a serious threat to both fauna and flora, and yet can be used in fodder production.
The Prosopis tree species originates in the United States of America and Mexico, and were introduced to various parts of the world. The intent was to provide canopy cover, however in the long run Prosopis species invades and destroys fauna that environs it.
Today’s topic discusses at length the conflict in existence of the invasive Prosopis tree species, commonly known as “mesquite or honey locust.”
The honey locust is mostly found around water courses and moist areas, and often out-competes the natural fauna in the surroundings.
Prosopis glandulosa is a drought tolerant tree, and has a renowned root system that makes use of deep underground water.
Meik et al. (2002) illustrated that bush encroachment poses serious environmental and economic problems, in many countries. Overgrazing, and climate change are some of the causes for the recent invasion of grasslands by woody plants (Neilson, 1986).
Bush encroachment is the invasion of aggressive undesired woody species promulgating an imbalance in the ratio of grass to bush. Therefore, this has resulted in a decrease of biodiversity and generally the carrying capacity (De Klerk, 2004), in various rangelands.
Common Prosopis invasive tree species
- Prosopis glandulosa
- Prosopis juliflora
- Prosopis velutina
Some of the countries threatened by Prosopis invasive tree species
- South Africa
Both domestic and wildlife animals that consume P.glandulosa pods, often aid in the dispersal of the seeds through defecation, as they are hardly broken down during the digestion process. Therefore, an increase in the Prosopis glandulosa trees may occur in the environment.
Mitigation strategies on invasive tree species Prosopis glandulosa
Are there benefits that can be obtained from this tree?
The answer to the question would be yes.
Humans and animals are known to enjoy the P.glandulosa pods for quite a long time. Furthermore, awareness creation has to be a top priority to all farming communities on how to take advantage of P. glandulosa pods and twigs as a way to control bush encroachment.
Upon achieving the above mentioned, farmers in conjunction with feed formulation companies may come up with different feeds from invasive bush species from consumable pods, such as P. glandulosa.
Therefore, in formulating bush based feeds we can fight against these invasive species.
- Prosopis can be used in the production of charcoal and firewood for use in homes.
- Bees are attracted to P. glandulosa flowers, which are a source of nectar for honey, and this contributes significantly to an ecological balance.
- May be used for timber production.
- P. glandulosa tree barks may be used for gum production, which is further processed into glue.
- P. glandulosa may be used in the medical field to treat skin sore.
Despite that, Prosopis glandulosa is regarded as an invasive tree species, it can be exploited and utilized to fight bush encroachment around the world.
De Klerk, J. N., & Klerk, G. J. (2004). ‘Bush encroachment in Namibia’: report on Phase 1 of the Bush Encroachment Research, Monitoring and Management Project.
Meik, J. M., Jeo, R. M., Mendelson Iii, J. R., & Jenks, K. E. (2002). Effects of bush encroachment on an assemblage of diurnal lizard species in central Namibia. Biological conservation, 106(1), 29-36.
Photo Credit – Jim Staley