Weed of the month – the California poppy

From April to May, tourists as well as researchers can appreciate the invasive California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) coloring of bright orange the roadsides and mountain slopes on the ascent to mount Teide in Tenerife, Canary Islands. The species was introduced as an ornamental plant and reports of its occurrence as a widespread ruderal species only date back to the 60’s. Since then, it has expanded into the natural vegetation quite rapidly. Its ability to tolerate high temperatures, drought, variable precipitation regimes, and a wide range of soil textures, chemistries, and levels of fertility can help us understand its success in new regions (such as Chile, Australia, and several European countries) far away from its original range in the Western United States.

In Tenerife, this charismatic poppy does well in the cloud layer habitats where the pine forest thrives, but it was also once found as far up as the subalpine zone, in the Teide National Park. Thanks to the eradication efforts of the group of biological invasions of the Canary islands (IBIOCA), it is no longer found there. While still being part of the weed control program along the roadsides surrounding the national park (in the Corona Forestal Nature Park), it is also promoted as a touristic attraction by travel agencies. The species definitely challenge our perceptions and definitions of weeds and noxious species!

The most complete compilation of information on the California poppy can be found here:

By Amanda Ratier Backes

SoilTemp call has officially launched!

MIREN is a proud contributor to the global SoilTemp-database, which grew out of our microclimate monitoring along elevation gradients all over the world. The database has now officially been introduced to the world, inviting all to submit their data!

More in this blogpost.

Graphical abstract

The introductory paper can be found here!

MIREN survey on alien invasive species in mountains

Working in or around mountains? Then we need you to fill out our new survey!

Link to the survey:

MIREN has created a survey on the perception of alien invasive species in mountains. The aim of this survey is to get the perspectives from a broad range of stakeholders worldwide (managers, land-owners, farmers, policy makers, conservation, scientists, etc.) on whether and to what extent they view alien invasive species (i.e. plants, animals and microorganisms) as a problem in mountains, thus causing negative impacts on nature and society. We are also interested in which species are seen as the most problematic, what impacts these species have, and how the species are managed.

The results of this survey will be published in an academic journal as a short commentary article about stakeholder understanding of alien invasive species impacts in mountains. Findings will  also be communicated more broadly as brief summaries. We expect that this information will be used as an input for global and local assessments on alien invasive species. If you wish to find out more, please contact

What you can do:

–     Fill out the survey (it will take you 15-20 minutes of your time, and gives us invaluable insights)

–     Spread the survey far and wide among your contacts working in mountains. You’ll see that the survey is available in a wide range of languages.