GE Eucalyptus Trees To Be Planted In U.S. South
http://forestry.about.com/b/2009/06/16/ ... -south.htm
ArborGen made a request to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to plant 260,000 flowering genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus trees over 330 acres in seven states. USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is processing this request. Several plantations already exist in Florida and Alabama.
The tree is Eucalyptus grandis x urophylla. The plant is a cold-hardy eucalyptus that ArborGen is developing for future commercial purposes, mainly pulp for paper.
Several environmental groups, including Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP), are fighting the project. GJEP contents that introduced Eucalyptus hybrids "are quite likely" to become invasive. "In other countries where eucalyptus have been introduced, they are well known for escaping and colonizing native ecosystems."
Eucalyptus in Florida, Bugwood.org, E. Barnard
I grew up in Southern California where there are several varieties of Eucalyptus trees that are quite common. They fit in so well with the climate, and thrive there, as well as other invasive species of trees, plants, etc.; and I'm not sure how much this has impacted the native trees and plants being encroached upon.
Now that Genetically Engineered trees might possibly be introduced to areas in the South that already have many invasive species, I'm wondering how much more the native flora will be affected.
What are your thoughts on this?