Survival and expansion of Pistia stratiotes L. in a thermal stream in Slovenia.
We report about successful winter survival of a tropical plant Pistia stratiotes in a natural thermal stream Topla in Slovenia in temperate climate zone in central Europe. Only 2 years after its first occurrence in 2001 P. stratiotes managed to cover most of the water body where the thermal springs cause an elevated temperature (>17°C year round). Enhanced biomass production of this invasive species took place in spring and summer and new stolons were formed at the end of the vegetation season. Over the winter older rosettes decayed and only small rosettes survived besides new rosettes formed from stolons. Plants developed flowers in April through August. Observations in December revealed viable seed production and seed presence in the sediment.