Invasive Species Threaten The Mountain Flora


Up in the mountains there are teams of researchers studying the evolution of rare species of plants.

One of the results of the study is that the invasive exotic plants are a real threat for the ones that have lived up there for centuries; the reason is that exotic species have the global warming on their side.

The first important research unit was created about five years ago and was composed of scientists from Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Chile and the United States and was called MIREN, standing for the Mountain Invasion Research Unit.

Their objective at the time was to study how the exotic species are distributed in the mountainous areas and whether or not they are causing any damage to the existing species.

As José Ramón Arévalo, from the Department of Ecology of the University of La Laguna concluded the wide spread opinion stating that mountainous species are more resistant to intrusions because of the harsh conditions they have gotten used to in time is fundamentally incorrect.

Part of the results of MIREN’s research were printed in the Frontiers in Ecology and The Environment publication and they show that direct human influence also affect the balance of the mountainous ecosystems by the plants who can reproduce asexually; they get to form large communities faster that the original species, making the last ones even more vulnerable and much more difficult to reproduce. In this case, prevention seems to be the only viable weapon to stop mountainous species of plants from disappearing.


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