Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Poison Ivy and Dandelions Thrive With Global Warming

It isn't simply my imagination that the poison ivy around the little reservoir at the end of our street is incredibly lush and spreading like mad. A recently published study in Weed Science, July 2007 documents that poison ivy responds positively to even small, incremental increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Dandelions are likewise blooming and spreading more aggressively, says another study in the same issue of Weed Science. I long ago made peace with dandelions, but do hope they keep to the yard (which I prefer to think of as a healthy multi-species community rather than weed-infested) and don't invade the meager tomato patch.

You can read both articles in the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center
  • Rising Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Potential Impacts on the Growth and Toxicity of Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). Ziska, L.H.; Sicher, R.C.; George, K.; Mohan, J.E. Weed Science 55(4): 288-292.
  • Reproduction of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) in a Higher Co2 Environment. McPeek, Tamara M.; Wang, Xianzhong Weed Science 55(4): 334-340.

    Also Listen to John Nielson's story Dandelions, Poison Ivy Grow With Global Warming on NPR's Morning Edition.