Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Composition, distribution, and factors affecting invasive plants in grasslands of Guizhou Province of Southwest China.

Abstract

Southwest China is an important route for invasive species. In this study, 49 invasive plants of 15 families and 41 genera were found within 373 grassland sampling sites of Guizhou Province, a typical karst mountainous region with a high invasion risk located in Southwest China. Invasive plants could be found within over 90% of the grassland sampling sites, and malignant invasive species were found in 60% of the sites. In about 30% of the sampling sites, more than one malignant species coexisted. The malignant invasive species were mainly distributed in the southwestern part of Guizhou Province. Their distribution patterns were affected by environmental and traffic factors; they preferred areas with low elevation, high temperature, high rainfall, high soil nutrient content, and traffic accessibility and could adversely affect plant cover and biomass. Conversely, seriously invasive species and other low-level invasive species had a positive or neutral effect on grassland communities. Therefore, the focus of invasive plant control measures should be on malignant invasive species. Specific control policies and practices, especially in areas with resource-rich environments and well-developed traffic networks, should be carried out to facilitate grassland ecosystem sustainability and to prevent the spread of invasive species to inland China.