Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Spread of invasive plant species in South America and Australia examined

Date:
July 13, 2011
Source:
Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ
Summary:
Invasive plant species in Chile pose a higher threat to its neighbor, Argentina, than vice versa. This was concluded by scientists from Chile and Germany after analyzing the flora of both countries. In particular, 22 non-native species which occur in Chile on connecting roads leading to Argentina present a high risk, according to the researchers.

Species like the sweet briar rose (Rosa rubiginosa) will be difficult to eradicate because they are now so widespread. 22 non-native species which occur in Chile on connecting roads leading to Argentina present a high risk according to the researchers.
Credit: Photo by Stefan Klotz/UFZ

Invasive plant species in Chile pose a higher threat to its neighbour, Argentina, than vice versa. This was concluded by scientists from the University of Concepción in Chile and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) after analysing the flora of both countries. In particular, 22 non-native species which occur in Chile on connecting roads leading to Argentina present a high risk, according to the researchers, writing in the journal Biological Invasions.

Related Articles


Trade between Chile and Argentina mainly takes place by road. Over the past decade, the quantity of road freight between the two countries has more than tripled. Although the Andes once functioned as a natural barrier between both countries, the mountain range has been made increasingly porous by the increase in transport. Of the 875 alien species, nearly 300 occur only in Chile and the same quantity solely in Argentina while more than 300 are found in both countries. Invasive species can disturb ecosystems and cause severe damage to agriculture.

Researchers say the most dangerous species for the neighbouring country is yellow glandweed or yellow bartsia (Parentucellia viscosa), an annual herb native to the Mediterranean region which has already spread into 10 provinces of Chile within 48 years. "In our view, particular attention should be paid to shrubs and trees," concludes Dra Nicol Fuentes. "Species like the elmleaf blackberry (Rubus ulmifolius), sweet briar rose (Rosa rubiginosa) and silver wattle (Acacia dealbata) will be difficult to eradicate because they are now so widespread. However, we're still optimistic regarding the Portuguese broom (Cytisus striatus), which is only just starting to spread."

In the biologists' view, it is important for scientists and other experts to set priorities for measures to counter invasive species. "Cooperation between neighbouring countries in the joint planning of countermeasures would be the most effective way of investing taxpayers' money into the prevention and control of invasive plant species. This was shown by our investigation," explains Dr Ingolf Kühn from UFZ.

Two years ago, the combined team of researchers from Chile and Germany evaluated the development of flora in Chile since 1900. Of the more than 70,000 samples in the herbarium at the University of Concepción, they identified 1,997 indigenous and 629 non-native plants. It turned out that within the space of a single century, invasive species had spread almost throughout the territory. The centre of this spread is the Mediterranean climate zone, where the Spanish colonial rulers began introducing farming from their European homeland in 1520. When Chilean agriculture and hence also grain production grew rapidly between 1910 in 1940, the invasive species spread swiftly.

In order to assess the risk resulting from certain species, the researchers used a method from Australia, where plant species from Europe are also a problem. Australian, Czech and German scientists demonstrated in a recently published study that 750 plant species from central Europe are now to be found in Australia. Most of the species arrived between 1840 and 1880 as well as between 1980 and the present, reflecting the waves of immigration. And around two thirds of them were deliberately introduced into Australia. They include many species used to decorate gardens such as the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and common beech (Fagus sylvatica). The first species thought to have arrived is the common hazel (Corylus avellana), which was first sold at Australian tree nurseries in 1803. In 1843 it was joined by the Norway maple (Acer platanoides), which was popular among landscape planners when laying out avenues. Given the presence of so many non-native species, researchers expect that others will take hold and spread invasively -- albeit with some delay.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicol Fuentes, Eduardo Ugarte, Ingolf Kühn, Stefan Klotz. Alien plants in southern South America. A framework for evaluation and management of mutual risk of invasion between Chile and Argentina. Biological Invasions, 2010; 12 (9): 3227 DOI: 10.1007/s10530-010-9716-9

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ. "Spread of invasive plant species in South America and Australia examined." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713092955.htm>.
Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ. (2011, July 13). Spread of invasive plant species in South America and Australia examined. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713092955.htm
Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ. "Spread of invasive plant species in South America and Australia examined." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713092955.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) — A new species of fish is discovered living five miles beneath the ocean surface, making it the deepest living fish on earth. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) — Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) — As falling oil prices boost Americans' spending power, the U.S. government is also gaining flexibility from savings on oil. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Russian Surfers Brave Icy Cold Waters

Raw: Russian Surfers Brave Icy Cold Waters

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) — Surfers in Russia's biggest port city on the Pacific Ocean, Vladivostok, were enjoying the sport on Saturday despite below freezing temperatures and icy cold waters. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins