Where we disturb nature, the invaders quickly follow

By Jonas Lembrecht

The pushy character of non-native species has of course never been a secret. Several studies also showed undeniably that the aforementioned factors played a role in the matter. Yet science was far from solving all remaining mysteries in the mountains. To know which of these factors plays the decisive role, what drives the recent expansions of non-natives to colder environments, and – most importantly – what the future of plant invasion in mountains will be, an overarching experiment was needed to disentangle what was seen in observational studies. With that idea in mind, a team of ecologists from Europe and South-America joined forces. They went to extreme ends of the world to set up an experiment in two sub(ant)arctic mountain areas, one in the northern Scandes in Sweden, the other in the southern Andes in Chile.


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Check the PNAS paper here.