Invasive species

Fires may be the result of natural phenomena such as lightning or they may be man-induced. Usually natural fires are an integral part of plant community development and influence such things as soil nutrient availability and biological diversity. In contrast, uncontrolled or wildfires disrupt such processes and can have a catastrophic impacts. The vast majority of wildfires are intentionally set and often occur in conifer forests. In recent years extended droughts, together with the rapidly expanding exploitation of tropical forests and the demand for the conversion of forests to other land uses, have resulted in a dramatic increase in wildfires. While some conifers have evolved to be fire dependent by having serotinous cones that open and release their seed in response to fire, their populations are so small or fragmented that even natural fires may be catastrophic. This is particularly evident in areas with a Mediterranean climate. It is the introduction of inappropriate fire regimes (frequency, severity, or seasonal timing) that can have the most severe impact.

Taxa in the category - Invasive species:

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Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.

Distributed in three States of eastern USA but as a result of severe infestation from the Balsam woolly adelgid, only one population remains unaffected Read full species entry >

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Abies koreana E.H.Wilson

Endemic to four mountains in South Korea, the population suffers a range of threats including climate change, introduced pathogens and invasive native and non-native plants Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo Boiss.

The Spanish fir has two subspecies distributed in southern Spain and northern Morocco where threats include fire, grazing and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo var. marocana (Trabut) Ceballos & Bolanos

The Moroccan fir is restricted to two small forests in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco where over a period of 60 years it has suffered a 70% decline. Read full species entry >

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Agathis montana de laub.

Endemic to the Mt. Panié range in northern New Caledonia where recent research has found that the decline and loss of old-growth trees is probably due to a combination of factors including root damage by feral pigs, pathogen attack and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria araucana (Molina) K. Koch

Endemic to southern Argentina and Chile where it mainly occurs in the Andes. Threats include fire, grazing and encroachment from commercial plantations of exotic species. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria heterophylla (Salisb.) Franco

Endemic to Australia (Norfolk Island Group) where historical logging and forest clearance significantly reduced the population. Today the main threats relate to the impacts of invasive non-native species. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria humboldtensis J. Buchholz

One of 13 species of Araucaria endemic to New Caledonia where it is restricted to less than five locations. There has been a recent decline in the health of some high altitude stands. Read full species entry >

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