UBC Undergraduate Research

Composting of invasive plant species : a discussion of the likelihood of the survival of propagules after a complete composting process Rempel, Samantha


In the Metro Vancouver region invasive plant species are removed from public lands by workers and volunteers. These invasive species are removed to ensure that the entire plant is taken so as not to leave any parts which could regenerate and spread. Disposal of the plant is then done under strict conditions in order to ensure that roots or seeds are not blown away to areas where they could germinate. Great care is taken to ensure that the work done by the workers and volunteers is not in vain and that the work does not contribute to the growth and spread of the invasive plant species being removed. After harvesting the invasive species the plant material is taken to Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre where it undergoes a composting process. This process is believed to include sufficient temperatures to kill the propagules of the invasive species harvested. However, there have been stories telling of occurrences where this composted soil has been seen to produce the invasive species supposedly killed during the process. This paper aims to discover if the soil from this composting facility has the potential to spread the invasive species being harvested from the Metro Vancouver region and to suggest possible ways in which this question can be scientifically answered.

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