Non-Native Plants in The Dock
Sometimes you cross by a truck with a large tree is on its way to an incinerator, or some trees that are over decades old are being demolished and left next to a dump. Sad scenes that may sometimes make you furious, wondering what the guilt of that tree that has been sent to retire in such an agitated manner. Perhaps the one who planted it was not sufficiently cognizant of the problems of planting it. Those who want to green their buildings or farms often look for weather resistance characteristics so that they can survive in a very drought-like desert environment such as Kuwait to ensure longevity.
This is what the vendors at the fourth ring road nurseries told us. The most common questions they receive from customers are whether the plant is suitable for external cultivation all year around, and whether they tolerate the heat, cold and saline water. As a consequence, there’s a huge demand on plants like Conocarpus, The American Cactus, in addition to The Lotus Flower, Abraham’s Balm and Oleander.
On the other hand, local authorities adopt the same approach to selecting plants that are grown in very large quantities in different parts of the country and in the desert, in order to make Kuwait greener. But we wonder whether there are studies demonstrating the effect of non-local plant cultivation in the ecosystem of Kuwait negatively or positively In the long run.
In general, all the plants in any desert in the world, they all share the same characteristics that carry heat and salinity. But the problem is that each plant comes to its natural enemy to sustain a balance in the environment. There is invariably a good reason why there is no plant somewhere or animal somewhere in the geographical area that does not contain it even if its climatic conditions are similar. Each plant bears its own soil, bacteria and fungi. When non-native plants are cultivated in a habitat, this causes a perturbation of the ecosystems, told Dr. Sara Al Ateeqi Director of Operations in Al-Shaheed Park Museums, to the Kuwait Times.
She adds, “As a researcher, I do not focus overly much on what happens in cities, because ecosystems are fundamentally confused, people can plant what they want from plants in their homes. But the damage is when cultivating non-native plants in the heart of the desert and in large numbers, as happened with the Conocarpus, we later discovered that its long root damage the infrastructure and pipes get broken. The real imbalance occurs when the only goal is to turn the desert into a green land without a prior research. I wonder why we are ashamed of our beautiful desert nature? There is a tone of dissatisfaction with its color and shape and trying to turn it into something else, like a jungle, despite the existence of more than 400 species of fungi plants in the desert of Kuwait”.
During Winter and Spring, the desert preserves bloom in all sorts of plants. Therefore, it is best to invest in local plants and shrubs such as; Nitraria, Matrimony vine, Rhanterium and Haloxylon, which is able to hold the soil, according to an academic study guide provided by Dr. Ali, Al-Dosari at KISR. The study showed that it only takes us to cultivate these small bushes to reduce the breakage of soil and dust storms.