Montana State University

MSU plant ecologist co-chairs workshop in Sweden

June 15, 2015 -- MSU News Service

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BOZEMAN -- Lisa Rew, non-native plant ecologist in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University, co-chaired a workshop on "Biosecurity in Mountains and High Latitudes," which took place June 1-3 in Flen, Sweden.

Twenty-two scientists who research everything from reindeer to plants and their pathogens met in a workshop organized by the Mountain Invasion Research Network (MIREN). Rew is co-chair of the group.

Researchers recognize that mountain and other cold ecosystems and the human livelihoods have not yet been as seriously affected by invasive species as their surrounding lowlands due to their harsh climate and isolation, Rew said. However, invasive risks at higher elevations and latitudes will likely rapidly and greatly increase in the near future.

The international experts who gathered in Sweden had compiled data and expertise on invasive species in different regions around the world. During the workshop, they focused on drafting scientific papers on biosecurity in high mountain and high latitude arctic environments relative to climate change.

Following the biosecurity workshop, a smaller group of collaborators discussed changes in native and non-native plant distributions in response to the changing climate of mountain systems. Climate is changing more rapidly in mountain and high latitude systems than elsewhere on the globe making them important systems to study, said Rew, who also co-chaired that meeting.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu