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Invasive plants, a threat to New Caledonia's dry forest

Papineau C., Blanfort V.. 2008. In : Blanfort Vincent (ed.), Orapa Warea (ed.). Ecology, impacts and management of invasive plant species in pastoral areas : Proceedings of the Regional workshop on invasive plant species in pastoral areas, 24 to 28 November 2003, Koné, New Caledonia. Suva : SPC, p. 70-79. Regional workshop on invasive plant species in pastoral areas, 2003-11-24/2003-11-28, Koné (Nouvelle-Calédonie).

The multi-agency "Dry Forest" Programme's main objectives are to put an end to the disappearance of these endemic forests in New Caledonia, protect them, manage them over the long term, develop them and raise awareness about them. Since its creation in late 2001, the Programme has been working on describing and protecting New Caledonia's remaining dry forests. Information is now being gathered to make it possible to conserve, protect and restore these relictual areas. Through surveys and cartography conducted over the past three years, the exact locations of the dry forests are now much better known. These forests are often totally surrounded by niaouli savannahs, pastures and thickets. In addition to being combustible (fire is still the most poorly controlled threat to dry forests), these plant formations constitute a reservoir of native and introduced plant species that can become invasive and therefore a threat to the dry forest. So it has become vital to better understand the impact that invasive species can have on environments like the dry forest, which are already disturbed by tropical cyclones, repeated and prolonged drought, fire, herbivores and man-made cuts and breaches.

Mots-clés : espèce envahissante; plante; forêt; nouvelle-calédonie; france

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