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: Researchers collect soil samples from around the globe in effort to conduct fungi survey

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 Española, 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

Parasitic worm genomes: largest-ever dataset released

18 hours ago

The largest collection of helminth genomic data ever assembled has been published in the new, open-access WormBase-ParaSite. Developed jointly by EMBL-EBI and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, this new ...

Male sex organ distinguishes 30 millipede species

18 hours ago

The unique shapes of male sex organs have helped describe thirty new millipede species from the Great Western Woodlands in the Goldfields, the largest area of relatively undisturbed Mediterranean climate ...

How can we avoid kelp beds turning into barren grounds?

22 hours ago

Urchins are marine invertebrates that mould the biological richness of marine grounds. However, an excessive proliferation of urchins may also have severe ecological consequences on marine grounds as they ...

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.