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Counterintuitive : When plants threaten ecosystems !

Updated: May 17, 2021

  • What are invasive alien species ?

  • Why is it necessary to clear and cut them ?

  • What can be done at a national level ?

  • What can I do about it ?

  • Educational tools - mobile applications.


What are invasive alien species ?

An invasive alien specie is :

  1. a specie introduced by humans outside its natural geographic range (accidentally or intentionally) and

  2. whose establishment and spreading threaten ecosystems, habitats or native species,

  3. with negative ecological and / or economic and / or health consequences.

In South Africa, where Foliumize supports a natural forest restoration effort, these species are, for example, the Australian acacia (or wattel) and the common eucalyptus, emblem of Tasmania.

In Europe, since 2014, a European Regulation has regulated invasive species and the European Union regularly updates a list of these species.

Why is it necessary to clear and cut them ?

According to the Resource Center for Invasive Alien Species, the latter “[...] are recognized as one of the main causes of erosion of global biodiversity [...] They thus constitute the third pressure weighing on endangered species globally after habitat destruction and species overexploitation.”

Foliumize is actively involved in the fight against these species, which are one of the causes of the erosion of the biodiversity of local flora and fauna, for the benefit of endemic species.
Plantations d'eucalyptus foliumize
Eucalyptus, an alien invasive specie in South Africa.

To continue with the South African example, these alien invasive species are responsible, (even if they are not the only cause), of :

  1. soil erosion ;

  2. water shortage for endemic species ;

  3. decreasing biodiversity ;

  4. increasing risk of wildfires, as these essences are more flammable than native trees.

  5. out of control proliferation (especially in the absence of animals grazing them),

  6. suffocating endemic vegetation due to their rapid growth (also explaining why they were imported and commercially exploited in the first place).

What can be done - at a national level ?

This invasive alien species issue is a global one.

But all most countries have put national actions in place to fight against such alien invasive species.

1/ Preventing of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species on the territory by

  • Identifying and classifying invasive alien species in order to develop an action plan,

  • Monitoring invasive alien species while studying their introduction and spreading ways,

  • Reinforcing and applying legislation and action plans.

chercheur foliumize

2/ Species management and ecosystem restoration

  • Quickly interventions when invasive alien species are newly detected in a territory,

  • Controlling the spreading of invasive alien species,

  • Managing and restoring ecosystems where needed.

arracher especèces végétales invasives foliumize

3/ Improvement and pooling of knowledge

  • Knowledge strengthening and continuous acquisition of new information,

  • Developing management methods and tools.

4/ Communication, raising awareness, mobilisation and training

  • Developing networks and tools to share information,

  • Raising awareness and increasing collaboration between the general public, the economic and political actors.

communication information espèces exotiques invasives foliumize

What can I do  ?

  • Learning to recognise invasive alien species :

  • Stop planting alien species and therefore,

  • Favoring local species.

  • Pulling them (or at least pruning them), before they flower, to avoid production of seeds. You can also cut new shoots regularly at the base to exhaust the stump.

  • Sharing this information around you.

Foliumize recommends Pl@ntNet, a great app to learn about plants and understand biodiversity.

Available both on iOS and Android.


Discover our forest restoration projects (which includes clearing invasive alien species) and our mission.

Re-enchant your world and the planet thanks to art with impact!

Each sold art piece allows, clearing of invasive alien species on 0.5 m2 and plating of a native seedling allowing for local biodiversity conservation.

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