Aussie grass carpet cleaners may be able to keep you grass cleaner for longer if they apply the right amount of ammonia, researchers have discovered.
Key points:Aussie grass carpets can be a big hit with tourists but can be detrimental to native plantsThe Australian Grass Carpet Cleaner is available online for a low cost but has been linked to the destruction of native plantsWhat you need to know about the Australian Grass Carpet CleanerThe Australian grass carpet cleaners are marketed to the general public as “cleaner than the local bush”, and can be used to clean the outer layer of grass on a carpet.
But the products are also linked to a range of negative environmental effects, with the Australian grass carpet cleaning product linked to more than 40 species of native grasses and plants being destroyed.
The researchers behind the research, from the University of Melbourne’s School of Environment, said their study found that the Australian Lawn Carpet cleaners were less effective than the UK version of the product.
“We found that this was largely due to a difference in their ammonia levels,” Dr John Mardell, the lead author of the study, told news.com,au.
“This difference was mainly due to the fact that the UK Lawn Carpets ammonia content is slightly higher than the Australian version.”
It’s not just Australian grass-cleaning products that are linked to negative environmental impacts, however.
Dr Mardel said the products could also damage plants.
“Our study suggests that if Australian Lawn Carpets ammonia levels are lower than the European Lawn Cars, plants will suffer less than if they are higher,” he said.
“In fact, our research shows that the difference between European and Australian Lawns is a factor in their success.”
The Australian Lawn Care company released a statement saying it was “disappointed” with the study and said it was not aware of the results.
“The Australian version of our Lawn Carving product, which is available in the UK, has a lower ammonia content than the one available in Australia,” the statement read.
“Aussie Lawn Carve does not promote the use of this product to reduce or eliminate grassy areas and we do not recommend using it as a cleaner for our garden.”
Dr Martell and his team said the findings showed the need for research into how grass carpettas are being used in Australia.
“It’s clear that grass carpeting can have an adverse impact on native plants, but we can’t rule out the possibility that the effects are due to changes in the chemical composition of the substrate, such as inorganic pollutants, or the use by the animals that use them,” Dr Mardells said.
He said there were also concerns about the effects on native animals and animals in the ecosystem.
“If we can learn more about the effect of Australian Lawn carpets on native species and their natural habitats, then we may be more able to make informed decisions about how to manage the carpet in the future,” Dr Maardell said.
The study, which was published in the journal Science Advances, involved analysing the ammonia content of 1,500 different Australian lawn carpets from the European version of Lawn Carver to the Australian lawn cleaner.
The authors found that while the UK lawn carpet cleaner was significantly less ammonia-laden than its Australian counterpart, the Australian cleaner was more ammonia-rich.
“What we saw is that the differences were fairly small,” Dr Marcello Gioia, the study’s lead author, told News.
He added that the “large difference in ammonia levels between the European and the Australian versions of the Lawn Carvies products could be due to differences in the quality of the products.”
The researchers found that grass carpet weavers had the most detrimental effect on native grass species, while native trees and shrubs had a greater negative impact.
“On average, native species in the study were affected by the cleaner than native species across all of the species studied,” Dr Gioiaca said.
But he said it’s important to recognise the potential negative impacts of the cleaner.
“Many native plants are sensitive to ammonia because they require it for photosynthesis, so removing a native plant from the carpet may result in an increase in the amount of nitrogen that it requires to function,” Dr Garibaldi said.
However, the researchers said the results were still inconclusive.
“While the results are intriguing, they do not suggest that the cleaning products are a major cause of the increased ammonia levels that were observed in native species,” Dr Raffaele Ciani, the paper’s lead researcher, said.
This story originally appeared on News.COM.AU