Impact of invasive plant species
In any habitat, many different native species grow and co-exist maintaining a natural balance, without one species dominating over the others or one species being detrimental to the others.
Among the native species, some species may have very few viable individuals, which can survive in the long term. Such species are called endangered endemism.
In the case of flora, endangered endemic species usually produce very few seeds, their seeds are not capable of germinating or they can germinate but the young plants do not get the adult stage to produce new seeds. Year after year, this means that fewer new plants can survive, endangering the long-term conservation of the species. This is the case of Seseli farrenyi, Limonium geronense and Limonium tremolsii, which occurrence is limited to wild populations of few individuals growing in a handful of places within the Cap de Creus area.
When a non-native invasive plant arrives in a habitat, it can spread and develop in an uncontrolled way because in this habitat there are still no natural predators or competitors, which are the only ones able to regulate its growth and spread. In this way, invasive plants easily make their way into the habitat where they have been introduced, occupying all available space.
This alteration of the natural balance causes native species and, above all, endangered endemism, to lose the possibility of developing new individuals and, over the years, they end up being lost. This negative effect impacts not only on native plants but also on insects, birds and other habitat-dwelling organisms, causing a biodiversity loss.
Furthermore, when an invasive plant colonises a place, it makes the natural environment extremely uniform, resulting in compact and low-valued landscapes and causing also social, cultural and economic losses.