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Forest and Mountain Biodiversity Threats: Introduction of invasive alien species PDF Print E-mail

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Introduction of invasive alien species dramatically alters ecosystems in many parts of the world, especially in the forest ecosystems. In a report submitted by Pinol et al (2006) to the Asia-Pacific Invasive Species Network, he enumerated a list of potential invasive alien species (plants, insect pest and other pathogens) in the Philippines (Table 3). These species can eradicate other species, are prone to pests and diseases. Some species may cause stunted growth, and the pathogens can cause shoot swelling or death to other species.

 

Table 3. Invasive alien species in the Philippines
Scientific Name Common Name

A. Higher plants

1. Broussonetia papyrifera

Paper mulberry

2. Lantana camara

Coronitas

3. Swietenia macrophylla

Mahogany

4. Leucaena leucocephala

Ipil-ipil

5. Mikania micrantha

Mile-a-minute

6. Acacia mangium

Mangium

7. Acacia auriculiformis

Auri

8. Chromolaena odorata

Siam weed

9. Coccinia grandis

Ivy gourd

10. Eichornia crassipes*

Water hyacinth

B. Insect Pests

1. Ozola minor

Measuring worm

2. Heteropsylla cubana

Jumping lice

3. Hypsila robusta

Shoot borer

C. Pathogens

1. Corticum salmonicolor

Pink disease/ canker

2. Uromycladium tepperianum

Gall rust

3. Phellinus noxius

Root rot

Sources: Asia-Pacific Invasive Species Network; * PAWB

 

In a recent conference on the impact of invasive alien species on terrestrial ecosystems, a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders recommended strategies and actions to address this threat, among them: 1) research on disturbance ecology (social, environmental and economic); 2) protection of the natural habitat; 3) restoration of disturbed habitats; and, 4) information and education. They further noted that anthropogenically disturbed habitats provide dispersal sites for invasive alien species. Intact forests, however, are less vulnerable to invasion and should therefore be protected.