RELVA Maria Andrea
Gringos en el bosque: Introduced tree invasion in a native Nothofagus / Austrocedrus Forest
SIMBERLOFF, D.; RELVA, MARÍA ANDREA; NUÑEZ, M.
Año: 2002 vol. 4 p. 35 - 53
We studied invasion into native Nothofagus/Austrocedrus forest by many introduced tree species planted between 1910 and 1940 in plantations near the center of Isla Victoria, in northern Patagonia. We located virtually all individuals of these species in 30 ha of forest in two series of transects at increasing distances from the plantations. Although these species included many reported as highly invasive elsewhere, we found little evidence for invasion on Isla Victoria, with many invasive species utterly failing to invade native forest. There was a notable decline with distance in number of introduced individuals, but wind direction appeared to be unimportant. Pseudotsuga menziesii and Juniperus communis were the only 2 species represented by many individuals, while 4 pine species plus Araucaria araucana were far less numerous and 6 other species were found fewer than 10 times each. Even those species found repeatedly were represented overwhelmingly by small individuals, and the great majority of introduced individuals were found not in native forest proper, but in somewhat open areas such as road verges, small remnant pastures, and deer trails. Invasion may be occurring, but too slowly to be clearly evidenced yet because of the longevity of the dominant native trees. Factors that may be stopping or slowing invasion include competition in gaps with native species, browsing by introduced deer, unfavorable soil, allelopathy, and natural enemies or other idiosyncratic factors for particular species. The absence of substantial invasion so far is no guarantee against future invasion, particularly if some major natural or anthropogenous disturbance were to occur.