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Home > Communication > Scientific newsletter > Publications

Non-native plants add to the British flora without negative consequences for native diversity [PNAS]

Keywords: invasive species, biodiversity, Anthropocene, ecology, botany

by Frédéric Magné - published on , updated on

Non-native plants dominate global lists of invasive (harmful) species, yet plants introduced to Britain are both less widespread than native species and not increasing any more than native plants, and changes to native and non-native plant diversity are positively associated. The hypothesis that competitive exclusion will eventually enable introduced plants to drive native species extinct receives no support, according to analysis of extensive British data. A more parsimonious explanation is that both native and introduced plants are responding predominantly to other drivers of environmental change. The negative effects of non-native plants on British biodiversity have been exaggerated, and may also have been exaggerated in other parts of the world.

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