Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Distribution of the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima/Mill./Swingle) and spreading of invasive woody alien species in Croatia.

Abstract

This paper discusses the problem of woody invasive alien plant species in Croatia, which was divided into three groups. The first group is characterized by species that have spread to new habitats in the past, have naturalized and became incorporated within the resident flora, i.e., Robinia pseudoacacia, Amorpha fruticosa and Fraxinus pennsylvanica. The second group includes species that are spreading in new areas, i.e., Ailanthus altissima and Acer negundo. The third group consists of potentially dangerous species such as those alien plant species which have been recorded as invasive in Middle-European and Mediterranean countries, i.e., Broussonetia papyrifera, Buddleja davidii, Celtis occidentalis, Elaeagnus angustifolia, E. umbellata, Gleditsia triacanthos, Lonicera japonica, L. maackii, Maclura pomifera, Mahonia aquifolium, Melia azedarach, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Paulownia tomentosa, Prunus serotina, Rhus typhina [R. hirta] and Ulmus pumila. The present distribution of the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), which is the most distinct woody invasive alien plant species of the second group, in Croatia is described. The biological features of the tree of heaven, which enabled this invasive alien plant species to spread more easily, are described, and an account of the ecological threats of such invasion, as well as the possibilities of prevention and control is provided.