Introduced Species - Introduced Plants

Introduced Plants

Many non-native plants have been introduced into new territories, initially as either ornamental plants or for erosion control, stock feed, or forestry. Whether an exotic will become an invasive species is seldom understood in the beginning, and many non-native ornamentals languish in the trade for years before suddenly naturalizing and becoming invasive.

Peaches, for example, originated in China, and have been carried to much of the populated world. Tomatoes are native to the Andes. Squash (pumpkins), maize(corn), and tobacco are native to the Americas, but were introduced to the Old World. Many introduced species require continued human intervention to survive in the new environment. Others may become feral, but do not seriously compete with natives, but simply increase the biodiversity of the area.

Dandelions are also introduced species to North America.

A very troublesome marine species in southern Europe is the seaweed Caulerpa taxifolia. Caulerpa was first observed in the Mediterranean Sea in 1984, off the coast of Monaco. By 1997, it had covered some 50 kmĀ². It has a strong potential to overgrow natural biotopes, and represents a major risk for sublittoral ecosystems. The origin of the alga in the Mediterranean was thought to be either as a migration through the Suez Canal from the Red Sea, or as an accidental introduction from an aquarium.

Japanese knotweed grows profusely in many nations. Human beings introduced it into many places in the 19th century. It is a source of resveratrol, a dietary supplement.

Read more about this topic:  Introduced Species

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Famous quotes containing the words plants and/or introduced:

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    Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)