Spread of Impatiens glandulifera from riparian habitats to forests and its associated impacts: insights from a new invasion.
Impatiens glandulifera is a globally successful invader that primarily spreads along riparian habitats; however, during the last ~20 years, it has started to colonise forests, but little has been published on impacts of this recent spread. Several factors may have contributed to this phenomenon: (i) high propagule pressure from large and widespread riparian populations, (ii) extensive anthropogenic and natural disturbances in the forest ecosystems, (iii) increased use of forest machinery efficiently spreading the seeds together with (iv) a wide environmental tolerance of the species. The impacts of I. glandulifera on native communities in forests are manifold. Contrasting effects are reported on native plant species diversity, richness and growth of saplings of co-occurring species, as well as negative effects on soil mycorrhizal fungi. We suggest that the eradication of I. glandulifera populations in forests is more feasible than along watercourses because the recolonisation in forests is limited and, in some cases, populations are outcompeted by woody species during succession.