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Senna Spectabilis

2023 JAN 31

Preliminary   > Environment and Ecology   >   Biodiversity   >   Loss of biodiversity in india

Why in news?

  • Kerala has come out with a management plan to eradicate Senna spectabilis, the exotic invasive plant that is posing a severe threat to the State’s wildlife habitat.
  • The management plan stipulates that there should not be an attempt to kill the trees before a detailed reforestation programme and the resources for implementing it are in place.

About Senna Spectabilis:

  • Senna spectabilis is a deciduous tree native to tropical areas of America.
  • It grows up to 15 to 20 metres in a short period of time and distributes thousands of seeds after flowering.
  • The thick foliage of the tree arrests the growth of other indigenous tree and grass species. Thus, it causes food shortage for the wildlife population, especially herbivores.
  • It also adversely affects the germination and growth of the native species.
  • It is categorised as ‘Least Concern’ under IUCN Red List.

About the Eradication Plan:

  • The plan envisages landscape-level management of the tree.
  • Once the resources and material for landscape restoration are ready, the invasive species has to be removed using a threefold approach for large trees, large saplings, and small saplings.
  • The large trees need to be debarked from breast height downwards (1.3 m above ground level), including the collar part of the tree. Once done, the trees should be visited once a month to remove the new growth across the debarked area.
  • The larger saplings can be uprooted using specially designed weed pullers.
  • The third is the removal of small plantlets which need to be removed mechanically.
  • The large trees would take a minimum of 18 months to completely dry up after debarking.


Why is a plant called ‘Senna Spectabilis’ often mentioned in the news?

(a) Its extract is widely used in cosmetics.

(b) It tends to reduce the biodiversity in the area in which it grows.

(c) Its extract is used in the synthesis of pesticides.

(d) None of the above