Endangered Species Bulletin

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just released its Fall 2008 Endangered Species Bulletin. This quarterly publication provides a great snapshot of the current status and research on endangered species. One article of note within the bulletin covers interaction between invasive plants and pollinators.

Often when we think about invasive plants, the direct competition with native plants is the first thing on our mind. These non-native invaders have few natural enemies in their new territory, and often have very high reproductive rates. Well, what if you compound these factors with the possibility that pollinators may like the new plants better than the natives? Think that through.

If pollinators go to the invasive plants more and the native plants less, then less native plants will be pollinated. If less native plants are pollinated, there will be fewer seeds. Fewer seeds means a slower rate of reproduction. Net result, invasive plants win again.

Check out the Fall 2008 Endangered Species Bulletin for a more in depth treatment of this and other interesting subjects related to biological diversity.


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