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Plant invasions in ski resorts

The increasing popularity of winter sports has led to the development of resorts providing skier facilities, which are often placed within natural environments of high conservation value. The disturbances associated with the creation and maintenance of the resorts, and the tendency for vehicles and people to disperse plant propagules, has enabled non-native species to reach ski resorts and persist. Some non-native species arrive passively (on vehi- cles and clothing) while others are deliberately introduced for soil stabilization and amenity purposes. Deliberately introduced species are often persistent because they have been chosen for their climatic suitability and hence may pose more of a threat to local environmental values than species that arrive accidentally. The numbers of non-native plant species reaching ski resorts is likely to increase as climate change makes conditions favourable to species currently growing at lower elevations, and as some ski resorts become less suitable for winter sports and develop additional facilities for summer recreation. Many ski resorts now manage their non-native species by removing those species known to be especially invasive and replacing species once deliberately introduced with local native alternatives.

CITE: McDougall, K., & Cavieres, L. (2022). Plant Invasions Associated with Ski Resorts. In Agustina Barros, Ross Shackleton, Lisa J. Rew, Cristóbal Pizarro, Aníbal Pauchard (Eds). Tourism, Recreation and Biological Invasions, 72 - 78.


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