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Research Arctic Centre Collaboration Dutch collaboration Willem Barentsz Polar Institute SEES.nl/2020 Information for participants Research plans

Seeding emergence of native vs alien plant species from soils near bird cliffs

Stef Bokhorst

Polar ecosystems are vulnerable to invasion, with alien species likely to seize key roles and affect ecosystem functioning. The success of alien establishment depends on available niches within a community, but can be facilitated by native species. In particular, native birds may facilitate alien establishment by fertilising the soil via guano. The increased soil nutrient availability near bird cliffs impacts vegetation growth and this may also benefit alien plants. This aspect of invasion engineering is of great concern, as human activities are the major vectors of plant propagules to polar regions and bird colonies are frequently visited by tourists.

Last modified:05 March 2020 4.18 p.m.