Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Invasive trees and shrubs: where do they come from and what we should expect in the future?

Abstract

The global database of invasive trees and shrubs has been updated, resulting in a total of 751 species (434 trees and 317 shrubs) from 90 families (Rejmánek and Richardson 2013 Divers Distrib 19:1093-1094). This database is used to assess major trends in human-assisted exchanges of dendrofloras among 15 major geographical regions. Areas most invaded by non-native trees are Pacific Islands (136 species), Southern Africa (118), Australia (116), and North America (114). Areas most invaded by non-native shrubs are North America (98), Australia (87), Pacific Islands (71), and Europe (61). The most important sources of invasive trees are Asia (122-146 species, depending on how many Eurasian species are considered to have been introduced only from Europe), Australia (81), and South America (81). The most important sources of invasive shrubs are Asia (103-118), Europe (68), and South America (54). Mean number of native geographical regions for invasive trees is 1.64, while the mean number of invaded regions by trees is 2.51. The difference is smaller for shrubs: 1.60 versus 2.11. Asia is the major source of invasive Rosaceae shrubs, as well as invasive Arecaceae and Oleaceae species. South America and Australia are major sources of invasive Fabaceae trees. North America and Europe are major sources of invasive Pinaceae. Most of the invasive Salicaceae are of Eurasian origin. The identified trends will very likely continue in this century. Because of increasing interactions with many states in Asia, even more invasive woody species will be introduced from this part of the world.