Media Contact: Fred Strohl
Communications and Media Relations
Audio Spot: ORNL research seeks to control kudzu
While kudzu was promoted in the Southeastern United States to hold soil from eroding on slopes, the non-North American plant species from Asia has overtopped other vegetation - including plants, grasses and trees - because it does not respond well to North American natural enemies and climactic controls in the ecosystem.
After eradicating patches of kudzu with mostly herbicides, the existing seed bank beneath is released and more desirable plants cover the site. Quarles has found this alternative resulting vegetation is just as effective in holding the soil while not creating the natural damage to other species that is caused by kudzu.