Large-scale assessment of alien plant invasions in European vegetation (InvasEVe)

Project Identification
Project Period
5/2014 - 10/2016
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
South-Moravian Region
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Science

The onset of globalisation has lead to a massive migration of plants to areas outside their native range, often with detrimental consequences for the environment and the economy in the new area. The management of invasive alien plants has recently been declared as one of six key objectives of the EU biodiversity strategy. An integrated approach with a focus on vegetation management and prevention could help European land managers to effectively control invasive alien plants. The proposed project will be the first study to analyse the levels of alien plant invasion across European vegetation types. It will benefit from the recently assembled European Vegetation Archive – the largest vegetation data compilation from European countries. By using know-how from invasion biology, community ecology, biodiversity informatics and statistics, it will (1) identify European vegetation types that are the most vulnerable to alien plant invasions, (2) clarify how environmental variables influence the levels of alien plant invasion, (3) map the levels of alien plant invasion for the most common vegetation types in Europe, and (4) find out whether aliens plants from different vegetation types have distinct traits. The proposed project will be carried out at the Vegetation Science Group, at the Masaryk University Brno, an experienced group working at the forefront of macroecology, vegetation science and invasion biology. The results will enhance our understanding of alien plant invasions in Europe and will help European land managers to make informed management decisions.

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