POCHEON, Apr. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — The proportion of introduced plant species within all vegetation in South Korea’s three major port cities showed a steady increase as a result of brisk trade activities, the Korea National Arboretum said Monday.
The three cities — the southeastern port city of Busan, the city of Incheon west of Seoul and the western port city of Gunsan — saw the percentage of introduced species of plants gain an average of 12.3 percentage points to 48.6 percent from 2008, when the arboretum started to compile such data.
According to the state-run arboretum, the rate of alien species of plants has been on the increase, reaching 42.3 percent in 2013 after standing at 36.3 percent.
The arboretum affiliated with the Korea Forestry Service attributed the rise to an increase in the inflows of introduced species of plants arising from increased trade activities in the port cities. More open areas such as roads and railways located in the cities also helped introduced species of plants take root better, it said.
The increase in the percentage of introduced species of plants did not lead to a decrease in that of indigenous species of plants, it said.
Chung Su-young, a researcher at the arboretum, said, “The increase of alien species has no negative impact on the ecology here as it does not result in making indigenous species disappear or bringing about ecological disturbances.”
He added the arboretum will carry out a study on the evaluation of the interaction between introduced and indigenous species.