FoPD 2021 – Portugal / “Plants fascinate us, but… not all plants are great anywhere!” – 18.05.2021


18.05.2021 – Webinar 6pm – 7pm (GMT+1)

Plants are amazing living things! They sustain our life and that of so many other living things! However, when removed from their natural areas of distribution (i.e., when they are introduced as exotic species), a small portion of these plant species have the ability to reveal invasive behavior, escaping man’s control and causing many problems. In fact, biological invasions (including by plants) are considered the 5th major threat to biodiversity globally, jeopardizing the balance of ecosystems and promoting high economic and public health losses. There is even a Target (15.8) of the Sustainable Development Goals that focuses on reducing the introduction and reducing the impact of invasive alien species on ecosystems and controlling them in priority areas. Still, it is worth pointing out that many exotic plants have positive effects (e.g., they are part of our food, filling many of our gardens and orchards, beautifying our gardens and parks, serving as raw material for many of the things we have in our homes), and that only a part becomes invasive. The worst is that these cause serious problems! Besides these imbalances – these ways of growing so much that they cause problems, which allow some of the exotic plants to reveal invasive behavior in the new places where they are taken – there are often fantastic characteristics of the species themselves that never cease to fascinate us. For example, production of gigantic amounts of seeds, seed banks that instead of accumulating in the soil accumulate in the plants, fascinating strategies for seeds to be dispersed effectively using us and other animals, astonishing vegetative reproduction capabilities, loss of interactions with animals, etc. This webinar – which we think will be fascinating – will be about these invasive plants and their characteristics. More information about invasive plants can be found at

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Centro de Ecologia Funcional/ Departamento de Ciências da Vida da Universidade de Coimbra & Escola Superior Agrária do Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra