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Antarctic Ecosystem Threatened By Foreign Seeds.

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posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 12:28 PM
Found this today and thought it was interesting. Everywhere we humans go we seem to have some kind of negative impact.

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - In the pristine frozen continent of Antarctica scientists fear an alien invasion -- not from outer space, but carried in people's pockets and bags.

Seeds and plants accidentally brought to Antarctica by tourists and scientists may introduce alien plant species which could threaten the survival of native plants in the finely balanced ecosystem.

I didn't know that the number of tourists was that high. I would imagine that it would be pretty expensive to travel there.

More than 33,000 tourists and 7,000 scientists visit Antarctica each year by ship and aircraft, and a two month survey of visitors has found that many are carrying plant seeds picked up from other countries they have already visited.

The study vacuumed travelers' pockets, trouser and sleeve cuffs, shoes and inside their bags, and used tweezers to pry out accidentally hidden seeds. On average each person checked had just 9.5 seeds in clothing and equipment.

Your thoughts?

posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 12:39 PM
My thoughts,,,,,,,,,,
Well,,,, congratulation humans we have now disturbed the final frontier and infected it by our presence.
Now it seems that there is no place left on this earth that we haven't disrupted or destroyed.
We humans are pathetic and destructive.

posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 01:10 PM
reply to post by usmc0311

On average each person checked had just 9.5 seeds in clothing and equipment.
I would have never been able to guess that↑. That's a significant number, regardless of where in the world it was tested.

Amongst the alien species discovered were the Iceland Poppy, Tall Fescue Velvet grass and Annual Winter Grass -- all from cold climates and capable of growing in Antarctica.
Ok. so these 4 types might survive, but I'm sure that a large percentage of them would never even begin to grow, yet alone survive through a winter.

I'm not trying to take away from the threat. I just think that in this article, they are being a little melodramatic about it.

posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 01:11 PM
The extreme conditions make Antarctica a habitat in which only the hardiest can survive. Very few species have been recorded on the 2% of the continent that is ice-free. They include about 150 lichens, 30 mosses, some fungi and one liverwort.

posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 04:45 PM
A permanent station was set up in 1902, not counting explorers I am thinking we would have noticed rampant eco destruction before now. It is an interesting study. The introduction of non-native species is a problem globally.

Natures way to disperse seed is wind, insects and birds, when looking at an island. Would be hard to prove where a seed came from by looking at a plant. Unless there was absolutely no way it could have gotten there except in a tourist or someone working at McMurdo's clothing.

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