Climate change amplifies plant invasion in Nepal

Future climate change is likely to increase the risk of invasive alien plants (IAPs) in Nepal, according to a recent study jointly published by two research fellows of GIIS— Dr. Bharat Babu Shrestha and Dr. Uttam Babu Shrestha.

The study entitled Climate change amplifies plant invasion hotspots in Nepal was published in the journal, Diversity and Distributions in July 2019. Nepal is considered as the most vulnerable countries to biological invasions and climate change in the world. Yet, we have minimal evidence on the impacts of past and future climate change, and this study has provided evidence of the likely impact of future climate change on 24 IAPs (out of the total 26) of Nepal. The study found that climatically suitable regions for 75% of IAPs will expand in contrast to a contraction of the climatically suitable regions for the remaining 25% of the IAPs under future climate. Additionally, the invasion hotspots will expand towards the high‐elevation mountainous regions study concluded. The study also calls for the management of IAPs in Nepal that should account for the vulnerability of climate change‐induced biological invasions into new areas, primarily in the mountains.

Nepal’s national daily newspaper Kathmandu post also published a news story about this publication.

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