In: Phyton 62-63 (2023): S. 75-86; DOI: 10.12905/0380.phyton62-63-2023-0075; Published online on 09 March 2023
First inventory of the invasive alien plant species along Nestos River (East Macedonia, NE Greece)
Spyros Tsiftsis & Theodora Merou
with 3 figures and 2 tables
Key words: NE Greece, Nestos River, floodplain areas, Natura 2000, invasion, IAS.
Tsiftsis S. & Merou T. 2023. First inventory of the invasive alien plant species along Nestos River (East Macedonia, NE Greece). – Phyton (Horn, Austria) 62–63: 75–86, with 3 figures and 2 tables.
Invasive alien species constitute a great threat to biodiversity and habitats at a global scale. River floodplains contain very sensitive habitats (e.g., alluvial areas, riparian forests, wetlands) that are highly threatened by invasive alien species commonly transported and introduced into countries through transboundary river systems. In the present study, the invasive alien plant species in the habitats of the Nestos river delta were identified and mapped, using a 200 × 200 m grid. Six plant species displaying invasive behavior (Acer negundo, Ailanthus altissima, Amorpha fruticosa, Phytolacca americana, Robinia pseudoacacia, Solanum elaeagnifolium) have been found along the Nestos River system. Phytolacca americana was the most widely distributed species (recorded in 82 grid cells), followed by Robinia pseudoacacia (67 grid cells) and Amorpha fruticosa (63 grid cells). Judging by the number and distribution of the grid cells invaded by Amorpha fruticosa, it is already rather widespread in the area, but it still shows the most aggressive invasive behavior as compared to the other five. Consequently, if the rate of expansion remains uncontrolled, large meadows that are close to the river will be fully covered by Amorpha fruticosa in the next couple of years. The continuous monitoring of the distribution and possible expansion of invasive alien species in the study area would be critical for applying successful control management programs.