The Carpathian Mountains, one of the most biodiverse regions in Europe, are increasingly threatened by multiple invasion. We want to understand the drivers of this invasion to propose better management.
The Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains are home to Europe’s last great wilderness areas and to the greatest remaining old-growth and virgin forests. Pristine habitats at higher elevations, including old-growth forests, are however experiencing increased levels of invasion by alien plant species established for over a century in the adjacent lowlands. Under climate change, flooding is projected to become more frequent in the Carpathians, while increasing pressures from forestry and tourism are altering habitats, including in protected areas. Funded by a BES Large Grant, we have jumpstarted a long-term monitoring project to understand what drives successful multiple invasion, in particular how demographic traits (dispersal, reproduction, growth), and interactions among invaders and native species may affect establishment of invaders under global change.