Plant Invasions into Mountain Protected Areas: Assessment, Prevention and Control at Multiple Spatial Scales

  • Christoph KuefferEmail author
  • Keith McDougall
  • Jake Alexander
  • Curt Daehler
  • Peter Edwards
  • Sylvia Haider
  • Ann Milbau
  • Catherine Parks
  • Aníbal Pauchard
  • Zafar A. Reshi
  • Lisa J. Rew
  • Mellesa Schroder
  • Tim Seipel
Part of the Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology book series (INNA, volume 7)


Mountains are of great significance for people and biodiversity. Although often considered to be at low risk from alien plants, recent studies suggest that mountain ecosystems are not inherently more resistant to invasion than other types of ecosystems. Future invasion risks are likely to increase greatly, in particular due to climate warming and increased human land use (e.g. intensification of human activities, human population growth, and expansion of tourism). However, these risks can be reduced by minimising anthropogenic disturbance in and around protected areas, and by preventing the introduction of potentially invasive alien plants into these areas, particularly at high elevations. Sharing information and experiences gained in different mountainous areas is important for devising effective management strategies. We review current knowledge about plant invasions into mountains, assembling evidence from all continents and across different climate zones, and describe experiences at local to global scales in preventing and managing plant invasions into mountain protected areas. Our findings and recommendations are also relevant for managing native species that expand to higher elevations.


Alpine Altitude Arctic Climate change Cold climate Elevation gradient Global Invasibility Mountain Non-native Ornamental plant trade Precautionary principle Tourism 



This chapter is based on research and ideas of the Mountain Invasion Research Network Consortium (MIREN, We would in particular like to acknowledge the important role of Hansjörg Dietz as initiator of MIREN. Inputs from two anonymous reviewers helped improve the manuscript. AP was funded by ICM P02-005 and CONICYT PFB-23.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Kueffer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Keith McDougall
    • 2
  • Jake Alexander
    • 1
  • Curt Daehler
    • 3
  • Peter Edwards
    • 1
  • Sylvia Haider
    • 4
  • Ann Milbau
    • 5
  • Catherine Parks
    • 6
  • Aníbal Pauchard
    • 7
    • 11
  • Zafar A. Reshi
    • 8
  • Lisa J. Rew
    • 9
  • Mellesa Schroder
    • 10
  • Tim Seipel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Integrative Biology – Plant Ecology, ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Management and EcologyLa Trobe UniversityWodongaAustralia
  3. 3.Department of BotanyUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Biology/Geobotany and Botanical GardenMartin Luther University Halle WittenbergHalle (Saale)Germany
  5. 5.Climate Impacts Research Centre – Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceUmeå UniversityAbiskoSweden
  6. 6.Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest ServiceLa GrandeUSA
  7. 7.Laboratorio de Invasiones Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias ForestalesUniversidad de ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  8. 8.Department of BotanyUniversity of KashmirSrinagarIndia
  9. 9.Land Resources and Environmental Sciences DepartmentMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA
  10. 10.NSW National Parks and Wildlife ServiceJindabyneAustralia
  11. 11.Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad (IEB)SantiagoChile

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