Galapagos Invasive Species:
Noxious weeds invasion

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Escaping the blackberry tangle: Blackberry ecology and control

BlackberrySeveral blackberry (Rubus) species form the focus of experimental eradication efforts on the island of Santa Cruz. However, R. niveus is by far the worst invader in the group, and is well beyond the possibility of eradication on the islands of San Cristobal and Santa Cruz. Rubus niveus's size and density in some sites on Santa Cruz makes farming difficult and it also has an impact on native species it competes with. It is a blackberry from the Himalayas. The photograph shows a dense stand of blackberry in the agricultural zone in Santa Cruz island.

Blackberry fruitThis species was the subject of a thesis by Ondina Landázuri of the Charles Darwin Foundation, who investigated its reproductive biology, especially seed production and soil seed bank. She found that flower and fruit production occur throughout the year but with peaks. The soil seed bank is patchily distributed with densities as high as 25,000 seeds per square metre. Seeds in the seed bank have about 80% viability, and fresh seed around 90%. She confirmed that some seeds can survive in the soil for at least 28 months. These are important considerations when planning management of this species.

Source: Charles Darwin Foundation.

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This website was created on 25 October 2004 by PT and JK.