A new baseline of invasive plants in Isabela

Oct 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: Scientists target mess from Christmas tree needles

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Invasive species threaten global biodiversity

Nov 06, 2014

Until a few decades ago, there were no beavers in Patagonia. That changed when 20 pairs of the tree-chewing creature were introduced with the hopes of creating a fur industry.

Giant tortoises gain a foothold on a Galapagos Island

Oct 28, 2014

A population of endangered giant tortoises, which once dwindled to just over a dozen, has recovered on the Galapagos island of EspaƱola, a finding described as "a true story of success and hope in conservation" ...

Galapagos invasion is global warning

Sep 03, 2014

A new study led by a PhD researcher at The University of Western Australia has revealed that parts of the iconic Galapagos Islands have been overrun by invasive plants from other parts of the world.

Recommended for you

Scientists target mess from Christmas tree needles

5 hours ago

The presents are unwrapped. The children's shrieks of delight are just a memory. Now it's time for another Yuletide tradition: cleaning up the needles that are falling off your Christmas tree.

Top Japan lab dismisses ground-breaking stem cell study

13 hours ago

Japan's top research institute on Friday hammered the final nail in the coffin of what was once billed as a ground-breaking stem cell study, dismissing it as flawed and saying the work could have been fabricated.

Research sheds light on what causes cells to divide

Dec 24, 2014

When a rapidly-growing cell divides into two smaller cells, what triggers the split? Is it the size the growing cell eventually reaches? Or is the real trigger the time period over which the cell keeps growing ...

Locking mechanism found for 'scissors' that cut DNA

Dec 24, 2014

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered what keeps an enzyme from becoming overzealous in its clipping of DNA. Since controlled clipping is required for the production of specialized immune system proteins, ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Elenneth
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.