brackenFern - Mellisa Roskosky CHS 202 - Dr. Camper...

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Mellisa Roskosky CHS 202 - Dr. Camper February 28, 2007 The Bracken Fern The bracken fern, or Pteridium aquilinum, is a highly invasive fern species. This fern is one of the very few plant species known to cause cancer naturally in animals 1 . The bracken fern is much different than most common poisonous plants because, it is not only highly toxic, but also very common in most parts of the world 2 . The link between human cancers and the bracken fern has been studied for years, yet its historical uses as a food product and other applications has not diminished. The bracken fern is one of the most broadly distributed species of plant in the entire world. The ubiquitous nature of the plant is due to the fact that it is a highly adaptable species and can grow in many types of soil 2 . The fern poses even greater problems by being, not only the most prevalent, but also one of the most the most difficult weeds to control today. The most common farming technique for the removal on invasive species is the burning of the fields that the plants inhabit. The problem arises in that the bracken fern actually thrives in burnt environments, as its roots are not harmed by the fire. It is even known to start fires of its own, since it is very flammable at the end of its growth cycle 3 . The major carcinogen present in the plant has been found to be ptaquiloside,
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course CHS 202 taught by Professor Camper during the Fall '06 term at Clemson.

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brackenFern - Mellisa Roskosky CHS 202 - Dr. Camper...

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