Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Differences between Aronia Medik. Taxa on the morphological and biochemical characters.

Abstract

Useful wild plants usually decrease the content of biologically active substances in culture. However, there are no studies on the reverse process and no evidence whether the level of biologically active compounds increases in plants escaping from culture and becoming invaded in natural communities (invasive species). We studied Aronia melanocarpa, A. arbutifolia, A. × prunifolia, 2 samples of cultivated A. mitschurinii in the arboretum of the Main Botanical Garden (Moscow, Russia) and one sample of invasive A. mitschurinii from the Moscow region. The task of the study was to determine the degree of heritability of macro- and micromorphological characters of North American plants introduced to Europe. The identification of the samples most promising for further broad cultivation by their antioxidant activity and the content of microelements in leaves was also our research purpose. The diagnostic features of the introduced North American Aronia were found to be inherited under culture conditions. The mass of fruits increases in this order: A. arbutifolia → naturalised A. mitschuriniiA. × prunifoliaA. melanocarpa → cultivated A. mitschurinii. An original table was compiled to compare the studied taxa on 21 biomorphological features. Naturalising plants have a higher antioxidant activity of alcohol extracts than cultivated plants, and, on the contrary, lower antioxidant activity of water extracts. The leaves of A. mitschurinii have the highest content of 10 microelements: Fe, Mn, Sr, Zn, Se, Cu, Mo, Cr, As and Sb; A. × prunifolia has the highest content of 6 microelements: Ni, Co, V, Cd, Pb, and Sn; and A. arbutifolia has the highest content of B. Our observations suggest that naturalising plants of Aronia have a potential source of useful bioactive compounds.