Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Multi-taxa inventory of naturalized species in Chile.

Abstract

Here we present a multi-taxa inventory of naturalized alien species recorded on continental Chile and adjacent marine habitats, including eight taxonomic groups. We identified 1,122 species. These comprise 790 vascular plants (terrestrial and aquatic); 31 nonvascular plants [Bryophyta (mosses), Marchantiophyta (liverworts) and Anthocerotophyta (hornworts)]; 18 marine and freshwater macro and micro algae; 71 fungi; 39 terrestrial vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds); 108 insects; 37 marine and freshwater invertebrates and vertebrates (6 polychaetes, 3 mollusks and 28 Pisces); and 28 terrestrial gastropods. For all taxonomic groups, naturalized species were found to mainly be distributed in regions with Mediterranean and temperate climates, with few at either extreme of the country. The invasion curves show that naturalized species first underwent a positive increment, followed by an apparent plateau phase, mainly in vascular plants, insects and vertebrates. In fungi, marine and freshwater macro and microalgae, vertebrates and invertebrates, the cumulative number of naturalized species increased sharply starting in the early 20th century; the lack of collections before 1900 is also evident. When considering naturalized species as a whole, this inventory highlights that the rate of new naturalizations consistently increased after 1950, especially for some taxonomic groups such as insects, fungi, and vascular plants. This multi-taxa inventory of naturalized species provides a platform for national reporting on biodiversity indicators and highlights areas where Chile must invest resources to manage biological invasions.