Control of the invasive species “would greatly reduce the risk of fire in Portugal” and would bring gains in species diversity.
They are distinguished by yellow flowers, which create long patches of vegetation common on roadsides. The acacias are one of the most aggressive invasive species in Portugal and the “invasion” that has been targeting the country for several years surprised the South African experts who were in Portugal last week at the invitation of the Mission Structure for Integrated Management of Rural Fire. They urged the Portuguese Government to urgently set up a monitoring program to ensure the conservation of native species and to reduce the risk of fire.
“This is a big problem, because these plants from southern Australia are born to burn. The more they burn, the more new plants are born,” says Val Charlton, a specialist in nature conservation, arguing that their control would greatly reduce the risk of fire in Portugal.
“And it would bring gains in species diversity (which is associated with an increase in tourism potential), since the closed dissemination of acacias prevents other plants from surviving in the same place and reduces water flows”.
“They are invading the country and it will only get worse and worse if nothing is done,” says Tessa Oliver.
The warning is several years ago by environmentalists. Last year, Quercus warned that this species, mainly mimosas (Acacia dealbata) and acacia-de-espigas (Acacia longifolia), already occupy “thousands of hectares in Portugal”, constituting a “serious threat in several protected areas” such as the Peneda-Gerês National Park and the San Jacinto Dunes Natural Reserve.
This article was translated from Spanish to English | Source: www.publico.pt | URL: http://bit.ly/2NWdWIH | First published on Author: MARGARIDA DAVID CARDOSO