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Invasive and Endangered Species: Kudzu and Gopher Frog Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Mar 26th, 2021

Common name

Kudzu.

Scientific name

Pueraria Montana.

Conservation Status

Invasive (Invasive Plants 97).

Appearance

Kudzu is a climber with large, compound deciduous leaves. Leaves consist of three wide leaflets, each of which is divided into two or three lobes.

Natural History and Ecology

Kudzu was introduced from Asia in 1876 for fodder and prevention of soil erosion. Kudzu proliferates mainly through rhizomes, runners, and developing vine nodes, expanding as much as a foot per day.

Ecosystem-level Relationships

Due to its rapid growth, Kudzu stifles slower developing plants and bands tree trunks, thereby restricting their growth. It destroys shrubs and trees by breaking or toppling entire plants through the might of its weight.

Impacts of Changing Florida Landscape

Climatically, Florida is ideally suited to Kudzu’s requirements It flourishes in warm climatic zones, where summer temperatures exceed 80°F, winters are temperate, and rainfall is fairly high. It favors areas with ample sunlight and thrives in almost any type of soil.

Management

Management

Kudzu’s extensive root system has to be demolished to ensure permanent eradication. Vines are cut at ground level and reoccurring sprouts are cut monthly. Systemic herbicides are applied to infiltrate the root system. Soil-active herbicides also produce satisfactory results.

Common name

Gopher frog.

Scientific name

Rana capito (Doubledee 2003)

Conservation Status

Threatened (Florida and Alabama)

Appearance

Rana capito capito (Florida gopher frogs) is between 2.5 and 3.5 inches long. Their colors vary from gray to brown, with darker markings and they always have warts. Males may be identified by yellow markings on their back ridges, maxilla, axilla, and groin. Females have extended snout-vents.

Natural History and Ecology

Gopher frogs breed ponds with vegetation but no fish. Tadpoles hatch between May and July, and mature in about 210 days. They are mainly active at night when they consume insects and other frogs.

Ecosystem-level Relationships

The gopher frog lives commensally with the gopher tortoise. Threats to the gopher tortoise’s habitat have a serious impact on the gopher frog population.

Impacts of Changing Florida Landscape

Fire control has allowed invasive hardwood plants to encroach on the gopher tortoise’s favored wiregrass and softwood plants, driving the tortoises away and endangering gopher frogs. Increased human activity also reduces gopher frog territory. They are also threatened by the introduction of fish. (Miller)

Management

Preservation of habitat of both the gopher frog and gopher tortoise, and controlled burning to simulate natural fires, will have to be applied to save the gopher frog from extinction.

Frog

Works Cited

Doubledee, Rebecca 2003 Ed.

Whittaker, Kellie. 2007, Amphibiaweb” Web.

Miller, James H. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services February 2012, “0212-pueraria-montana-habit”. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021, March 26). Invasive and Endangered Species: Kudzu and Gopher Frog. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/invasive-and-endangered-species-kudzu-and-gopher-frog/

Work Cited

"Invasive and Endangered Species: Kudzu and Gopher Frog." IvyPanda, 26 Mar. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/invasive-and-endangered-species-kudzu-and-gopher-frog/.

1. IvyPanda. "Invasive and Endangered Species: Kudzu and Gopher Frog." March 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/invasive-and-endangered-species-kudzu-and-gopher-frog/.


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IvyPanda. "Invasive and Endangered Species: Kudzu and Gopher Frog." March 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/invasive-and-endangered-species-kudzu-and-gopher-frog/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "Invasive and Endangered Species: Kudzu and Gopher Frog." March 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/invasive-and-endangered-species-kudzu-and-gopher-frog/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Invasive and Endangered Species: Kudzu and Gopher Frog'. 26 March.

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