Plant Invasions: Ecological Threats and Management Solutions

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Forman, Jennifer. 2003. "The introduction of American plant species into Europe: issues and Consequences." pp. 17-39 in Plant Invasions: Ecological Threats and Management Solutions. Edited by L.E. Child, J.H. Brock, G. Brundu, K. Prach, P. Pysek, P.M. Wade, and M. Williamson. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract: The connection between America and Europe has resulted in centuries of exchange of plant materials, but research has mainly focused on the invasion of European plants in America, with little attention given to the reverse process. To investigate, a 6000-species database was created of American plants introduced to Europe, combining data on taxonomy and life history with historical records of introductions and invasive status in America and Europe. Certain plant families (Amaranthaceae, Cyperaceae, Poaceae) were found to have more invasive, naturalized, and casual (non-benign) species than expected, while some larger families (Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Fabaceae) were not. North America had a higher than expected number of species that were non-benign in Europe, while other regions of America had fewer than expected. Species with more than one vector of introduction were more likely to be non-benign. Based on the strong relationship between weediness in America and likelihood of being non-benign in Europe, a warning list is presented to assist European researchers and policy makers in preventing future plant invasions.

You can now download a draft list of American plant species introduced to Europe (Word doc). The list is just a subset of a database of 6000 species, and consists of those species which are categorized as invasive, naturalized, or casual/escapes in Europe. To see the official published list, and read the methodology behind it, I recommend you read the full article.

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