Agave plants a pest in the Cabo de Gata

© holbox via Shutterstock.

AGAVE PLANTS: Were planted on a mass scale in the arid zones of Almeria in the 1950’s.

THE invasive and damaging nature of agave plants has been cited by Andalucian researchers as a key justification for their control and frequent destruction in Almeria. 

The environmental body has released a paper noting that controlled reduction is necessary to improve the state of conservation of the native biodiversity.

Research suggests that agave plants compete for water with other species to the detriment of wider variety and take up a significant chunk of land. The scientists stress that this is not an eradication measure, but rather a management mechanism designed to protect the environment. 

Agaves were planted on a mass scale in the arid zones of Almeria in the 1950’s to provide value to the unproductive areas of south east Spain. 

Tens of thousands were planted in Almeria alone and now occupy more than 1,000 hectares of ecologically important land in the Cabo de Gata natural park and other key sites. 

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    • royleon

      12 February 2016 • 18:34

      I am under the impression that agave plants provide a valuable syrup that is a fantastic natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Especially suitable for cancer patients, of which I am one.
      It is widely available here in Holland. What are the possibilities to turn it into a cash crop. They do it in Mexico.

    • dick handscombe

      12 February 2016 • 19:46

      Royleon, Cant’ agree with you more and they are interesting botanical features. Also they are being controlled by a weevil like the one that attacks palm trees.

    • dick handscombe

      12 February 2016 • 19:47

      Can’t agree more

    • Derek Pearce

      06 April 2016 • 11:55

      The whole lot should be eradicated. Not native to Spain and the local ecosystem hasn’t had thousands of years to learn to live with this species. (Think of Cane Toads in Australia). They compete with genuine Spanish species for water and nutrients and permanently destroy local biodiversity.

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