INVASIVE SPECIES (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     7th October 2023        
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Context: A new study recently highlighted that over half of India's natural systems are threatened by invasive plant species.

Key Points

  • The findings are a result of a national-level survey conducted in India, which noted that 158,000 plots in 358,000 square kilometres of wild area are invaded by alien species.
  • The 11 high-concern invasive plant species that showed presence in 20 states of the country included Lantana camara, Prosopis juliflora and Chromolaena odorata.
  • Project Tiger was envisaged to serve as a flagship to monitor the changing status of carnivores, herbivores, and their habitat. 
  • Plant invasions alter habitats and reveal intricate ecological changes across biomes,” Qureshi said in a press statement issued by WII.
  • Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in Western Ghats was one of the largest impacted hotspot areas due to invasion dominated by Lantana camara, Prosopis juliflora and Chromolaena odorata.

Invasive Species

  • About: An invasive or alien species is a species introduced to a new environment that multiplies excessively and causes harm to its new surroundings.
  • Modes: Invasive species can be introduced to an area through various means, including ship ballast water, accidental releases, and most commonly, human activities.
  • Characteristics of Invasive Species
  • Invasive species possess several key characteristics:
  • Rapid Reproduction and Growth
  • High Dispersal Ability
  • Phenotypic Plasticity (the capacity to adapt physiologically to new conditions)
  • Versatility in Surviving on Different Food Sources and in a Wide Range of Environmental Conditions.
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