Invasive species grab the land from other species and grow and spread. Make it difficult for local species to survive. They extract nutrients from the earth, which belonged to others. But to do this, they need to overcome competition, fight against local animal predators, adapt to the local atmospheric conditions, smart use of local resources. While different plants use various strategies to survive, we will see the strategies used by Lantana camera in India to catch a glimpse of how it survives so easily.
There are many reasons why L. camara has been so successful as an invasive species; however, the primary factors which have allowed it to establish itself are discussed here.
Strategies used by Lantana Camara:
- Efficient use of pollinators: By making itself look very colourful, making nectar that attracts pollinators that can travel long distances, L. Camara plant manages to get a wide dispersal range. Many birds and other animals that eat its drupes disperse the seeds far away increasing its reach.
- Toxicity scare: By making itself toxic to animals, it is less susceptible to being eaten by animals. As animals stay away, it flourishes.
- High Tolerance: While it is not indestructible, the plant exhibits a high tolerance for a wide range of environmental conditions. It can survive in various types of soils, strives in drought, extreme heat, humidity and salty areas. It is almost fire-resistant and quickly grabs large areas where forest fires destroy other plants.
- Increase in logging and habitat modification, which has been beneficial to L. Camara as it prefers disturbed habitats
- Cutting out the competition: The plant is also known to produce toxic chemicals which inhibit competing plant species in the area. It also is successful in growing like a thick cover eradicating other space for other plants to grow
- Numbers matter: The easiest way it controls the environment is by producing an extremely high number of seeds – about 12,000 seeds from each plant per year
Recent studies have shown that the plant also harbours malarial mosquitoes and tsetse flies!
Did you ever think about how intelligent this plant is? What do you understand by these PlantScience strategies that are used by Lantana Camara? Wild sage has its own strategies!
#InvasivePlantSpecies #InvasivePlantsinIndia #WildSage #LantanaCamara
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