Research: Shale Dev in PA Leads to Spread of Invasive Plants

While we wrote about a Penn State research study today that appears legitimate, but seven years too late (see New Penn State Frack Wastewater “Study” Beats a Dead Horse), there is another recently published Penn State study that is also legit that is not yet a huge issue, but certainly has potential to be a big deal. Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has found that invasive, non-native plants are making significant inroads with shale gas development in Pennsylvania, with negative consequences for PA forests. How so? The invasive, non-native plants are hitching a ride on gravel and equipment used to create roadways in forested areas, and once those plants take root, they crowd out local, native plants. The study, titled “Unconventional gas development facilitates plant invasions” and published in the Journal of Environmental Management, concludes that more monitoring and early detection can help put a lid on the problem…

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