Aliens in the Arc: Are Invasive Trees a Threat to the Montane Forests of East Africa?

Philip E. Hulme*, David F.R.P. Burslem, Wayne Dawson, Ezekiel Edward, John Richard, Rosie Trevelyan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

17 Citations (Scopus)


Although plant invasions are often regarded as a significant threat to global biodiversity, current understanding of the vulnerability of tropical forests to invasion or the factors that lead to alien species becoming invasive in the tropics remains limited. Here, we synthesise available information on plant invasions in protected areas for the most ecologically important montane forests of East Africa. We undertake a hierarchical analysis to explore patterns across the entire mountain chain with those within an individual mountain block down to a single nature reserve. A common feature of the occurrence of alien trees in the Eastern Arc Mountains is the overwhelming importance of propagule pressure in the representation of species found colonising forests. The patterns observed emphasise the need for scientifically sound advice regarding not only the potential impact of an alien species on native biodiversity but also an assessment of which mitigation strategies might be most appropriate and highlights the research, control and social challenges of managing invasive agroforestry trees in the tropics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlant Invasions in Protected Areas
Subtitle of host publicationPatterns, Problems and Challenges
EditorsLlewellyn C. Foxcroft, Petr Pyšek, David M. Richardson, Piero Genovesi
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789400777507
ISBN (Print)9789400777491
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Publication series

NameInvading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology (INNA)


  • Biological invasions
  • Botanic garden
  • Fragmentation
  • Propagule pressure
  • Tropical forest


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