Threats Of Invasive Alien Plant Species
Abstract, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, 2015
Invasive alien plant species have threatened the integrity of ecosystems throughout the world. They affect not only the species diversity of native ecosystems but also threaten their biological integrity. In India, a number of invasive alien plant species have been reported and among them tropical American species like Parthenium hysterophorus L., Lantana camara L., Eupatorium odoratum L., Hyptis suaveolens (L) Poit. and Ageratum conyzoides L., are reported very troublesome and have caused adverse ecological, economic and social impact. These weeds can be seen growing in different landscapes but are luxuriantly localized in unattended forests and cultivated areas and is also documented from Jharkhand state. Besides rapidly colonizing areas, replacing the native vegetation, it is also known to cause a number of human health problems, environmental degradation including threat to tourism activities. Likewise, it causes fodder scarcity in addition to being unpalatable and toxic to livestock. These species are encroaching large areas of land, especially the forests where they are virtually replacing the forest floor vegetation and reducing native tree regeneration. Also, because of their bushy and spreading type of growth they obstruct forest operations. These plants have similar growth strategies such as fast growth rates, short life-cycles, higher reproductive potential, high competitive abilities and allelopathy that make them successful invaders of native habitats. This review paper presents various aspects of biology, ecology, hazards of invasive alien plant species.