Cordgrass (Spartina), an introduced plant, grows vigorously on mid-tidal muds, where no other plant establishes. Because the clumps are very effective at trapping sediments, land builds up around them. Spartina cordgrass was planted in Invercargill’s New River Estuary in the 1930s to help reclaim land for industrial development. From initial clumps covering 14 hectares, the grass had spread to over 800 hectares by 1989. Since then authorities have eliminated most of the plants with chemical sprays.
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