Navigation Links
Not even freezing cold stops alien species in high altitudes
Date:3/4/2014

They hitchhike with us under the soles of our shoes and muddy car tires. Harsh and cold climates do not seem to stop alien plants from establishing themselves in high altitudes, where they now successfully penetrate the alpine vegetation, according to a study at Ume University in Sweden and the University of Antwerp, Netherlands.

"Alien plants often gain advantages in their new environment because they lack natural enemies, and in this case the lack of strong competitors amongst alpine plants may be the key to success for generalist native species," says ecologist Ann Milbau, assistant professor at the research station Climate Impacts Research Centre in Abisko, Sweden.

In a study published in the journal PloS One she has, together with Jonas Lembrechts, scientist at University of Antwerp, Belgium, investigated how plants normally growing in lowland terrain can spread at higher altitudes in subarctic mountain areas in Norway.

Mountains have so far been seen as the last natural ports of refuge, where alien species should have difficulties to establish themselves due to the harsh climate. They have been thought to be outnumbered by alpine plants adapted to survive cold, wind and short summers.

However, research at Ume University's climate research centre in Abisko and University of Antwerp shows that alien plants are no longer rare above the arctic circle.

"We humans have something to do with that," says Jonas Lembrechts. "Aliens start their conquest in the lowlands and follow human roads and walking tracks into the mountains. Hidden in the mud attached to our cars and shoes, they easily find their way up to the alpine zone."

The vegetation in the mountain regions is not prepared for this, especially not at higher altitudes, according to the study. In lower terrain the new species stick to the roadsides, while further up they swarm out into the undisturbed vegetation.

"The higher vulnerability of the alpine nature probably results from a lower resistance," says Jonas Lembrechts. Alpine plants in the far north are not prepared for the invasion of competitive species from the valley.

"Most likely, these alien lowland species are becoming increasingly successful in alpine terrain due to the warmer weather we have experienced in the past decades," says Ann Milbau. "Climate warming and increasing human disturbances in high latitude mountain regions may further increase the pressure from introduced species in the coming years."

The scientists conclude that mountaineers and hikers should be aware that they carry undesired co-travellers under their feet when they explore pristine areas. To clean shoes and other equipment before before the trip is a good way to preserve the vegetation in the areas they plan to visit.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ann Milbau
ann.milbau@emg.umu.se
469-804-0162
Umea University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Bed bugs can survive freezing temperatures, but cold can still kill them
2. Cold winters freezing out breast cancer treatment
3. Freezing nerves knocks pain out cold
4. Boat noise stops fish finding home
5. Osteoporosis drug stops growth of breast cancer cells, even in resistant tumors
6. First dual-action compound kills cancer cells, stops them from spreading
7. Breakthrough: How salt stops plant growth
8. Tortoise and the hare: New drug stops rushing cancer cells, slow and steady healthy cells unharmed
9. Predators vs. alien: European shrimps win predatory battles with an American invader
10. Environment: Pooling information to combat the threat of alien species in Europe
11. Worm-like mite species discovered on Ohio States campus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, ... biometric identity management and secure authentication solutions, today ... million contract by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity ... technologies for IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation ... the onset and IARPA,s Thor program will allow ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... NEW YORK , April 4, 2017   ... solutions, today announced that the United States Patent and ... The patent broadly covers the linking of an iris ... the same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... our latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... Vernon HIlls, IL (PRWEB) , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... use, harsh environments and time. The pocket testers even stand upright with a new ... in the lab or out in the field who need to test water quality. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... 19, 2017 ValGenesis Inc., the global leader ... to announce the strategic partnership with VTI Life Sciences ... validation services using the latest technology available in the ... clients with efficient and cost-effective validation services using ValGenesis ... the ValGenesis VLMS system. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... Molecular Devices, LLC, a leader in ... launch the CloneSelect™ Single-Cell Printer™ in North America. This novel system utilizes ... visual documentation of monoclonality for use in cell line development. , Clonal ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... Band-LOK, LLC, ... announced today that two new patents have been allowed by the USPTO on ... Band-LOK, said, “We continue to explore additional clinically-relevant designs for both the implants ...
Breaking Biology Technology: