A new baseline of invasive plants in Isabela

October 17, 2007

Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) botanists have published a list of all the introduced plants growing in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, the third largest town in Galapagos. 261 species were recorded, 39 of which were found growing wild.

Despite 95% of the archipelago falling under the Galapagos National Park, invasive plants spreading from the inhabited areas are having large impacts on the native flora and fauna.

Anne Guezou, one of the botanists of CDF, says: "Thanks to the cooperation of residents we were able to visit every property in Puerto Villamil and obtain the first complete baseline of introduced species."

Five species were identified as potentially serious weeds that should be completely eradicated from the island, including the "lead tree" Leucaena leucacephela, regarded as one of the worst tropical weeds.

"By identifying invaders before they become widespread, and investing in their eradication or control we can protect this World Heritage site from their impacts." says Guezou. She adds, "Early detection must go hand in hand with preventing the arrival of more non-native plants into Galapagos".

Staff at the Charles Darwin Research Station are working with the Galapagos National Park and SESA (Ecuadorian Agricultural Health Service) to prevent importation of plants from mainland Ecuador.

This work was accomplished with the support of Project "Control of Invasive Species in the Galapagos Archipelago", a donation from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to the Ecuadorian Government, represented by the Ministry of Environment.

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Mounting threat to Galapagos from 'El Nino'

Related Stories

Mounting threat to Galapagos from 'El Nino'

July 23, 2015

The Galapagos Islands, celebrated for their breathtaking biodiversity, could face a major threat from "El Nino," the weather system known to wreak havoc every few years.

Darwin's finches have reached their limits on the Galapagos

June 23, 2015

The evolution of birds on the Galápagos Islands, the cradle of Darwin's theory of evolution, is a two-speed process. Most bird species are still diversifying, while the famous Darwin's finches have already reached an equilibrium, ...

The great geologist behind the Origin of Species

June 8, 2015

After Charles Darwin published the landmark On the Origin of Species in 1859 at the age of 50, he devoted the rest of his professional life to building up evidence to support its central claim – namely that species of plants ...

Recommended for you

Most EU nations seek to bar GM crops

October 4, 2015

Nineteen of the 28 EU member states have applied to keep genetically modified crops out of all or part of their territory, the bloc's executive arm said Sunday, the deadline for opting out of new European legislation on GM ...

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Fusion reactors 'economically viable' say experts

October 2, 2015

Fusion reactors could become an economically viable means of generating electricity within a few decades, and policy makers should start planning to build them as a replacement for conventional nuclear power stations, according ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Oct 17, 2007
I am glad that they are taking an interest in preventing the spread of invasive species.

Of only people here had taken a more rigorous stance against the introduction and spread of introduced species, notably things such as kudzu (the vine that ate the south), fire ants, zebra mussels, etc.

I wonder what comments those people who advocated the planting of kudzu to drain the southern swamps and wetlands would say now if they saw entire acres of land covered with nothing but a sea of green kudzu leaves.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.