The Power of Invasives

vegan anarchist primitivist

Garlic mustard seedlings emerging along a stone wall amidst native vegetation in late spring, near a long term invasive plant monitoring plot at Harvard Forest’s LTER site.
K. Stinson

Harvard Forest researchers have transformed the scientific understanding of biological invasion by discovering that non-native plants can disrupt the longstanding ecological relationship between native tree seedlings and their beneficial fungi by releasing chemicals belowground. With native plants suppressed, the exotic plants are able to invade forests more aggressively.

The impacts of invasive species across the globe are a major focus of ecological research. In North America, thousands of nonnative plants and animals have become established since European settlement and new species are introduced every day. Some newcomers cause little harm, while others become very aggressive, displace native organisms, and radically alter their new habitats. Many processes, from the absence of natural enemies to global climate…

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