Weeding out the invasive tropical American shrub, Lantana camara, appears to alter the composition of bird species in a forest, according to a new study conducted in Central India.However, the research was carried out over only three years. Long-term assessments of how birds and insects respond to the removal of this invasive species are needed, the study published in journal Restoration Ecology, stressed.
Lantanas arrived in India as a decorative shrub in the British colonial period but quickly took over several ecosystems as an invasive plant. The shrub can spread on the forest ground, climb over trees an a creeper and entangle with other native plants with ease.
The researchers focused on tropical dry forests, which don’t often get enough attention. “Peatlands or humid forests get more emphasis for their ability to sequester carbon,” Pooja Choksi, who has just completed her PhD at Columbia University and the lead author of the study, told Down To Earth.