The Loss of Mountain-Top meadows due to Invasive Species

Last year in Dr. Bazely’s plant ecology class, I decided to do my paper on invasive species that affect North American ecosystems. It’s a bit odd to think that trees can be an invasive species to an ecosystem but this is very much the case in Oregon State, USA. A lot of concern has been addressed to the fact that many mountain top meadows are on the decline.

In particular, Abies procera is a common woodland tree that has been invading mountain top meadows through facilitation of their own seedlings and the competitive nature it exhibits against herbaceous understory plants. Most of the forest invasion is occuring on the mountain ecocline. There are many theories on why this is occuring, many scientists have issued the possibility of climate change impact on the changing environment, some scientists have linked it to the change in the microbial component of the soil as the trees advance in the ecocline. What we know for sure is that Abies procera is a highly competitive species.

There is certainly more to be studied in this subject. Scientists have really only scratched the surface of this topic and it’s interesting to see changes in our environment as a result of climate change. Hopefully this will put people on alert for other possible changes to come.

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