New data on alien plants in Italy
Following the conference on “Alien species in Italy: inventories, invasiveness and action plans” held in Milano (IT) on 2008-11-27/28, new data on invasive alien plants in Italy can be noted:
- Trachycarpus fortunei (Arecaceae) is well established in North-Western Piemonte, in prealpine Lombardia, and in Torino where the climate seems to be more suitable than other places in Italy.
- Robinia viscosa (Fabaceae) is recorded between Milano and Varese in Lombardia, where it exhibits a moderately invasive behaviour. It behaves as a pioneer species and is found in degraded scrublands and forests margins.
- In Lombardia, Phytolacca americana (Phytolaccaceae) has caused 50 reported intoxications in Milan in 10 years, when mistaken with wild asparagus and ingested.
- Observations have been made on alien species escaped from the Hanbury botanical garden in Liguria that colonize the Ponente river. The distributions of Senecio deltoideus (Astercaeae), Wigandia urens and W. caracasana (Hydrophyllaceae) are being monitored. Additionally, it was noted that the following escaped and naturalized species are spread by birds: Sollya heterophylla (Pittosporaceae), Pittosporum heterophyllum and P. tobira (Pittosporaceae), Cotoneaster integerrimus (Rosaceae), Rosa banksiae var. normalis (Rosaceae), Jasminum fruticans (Oleaceae), Enchylaena tomentosa (Chenopodiaceae); or by mammals, feeding on the fruits of Chamaerops humilis (Arecaceae) and Phoenix canariensis (Arecaceae). Mirabilis jalapa (Nyctaginaceae) is spread by water, and Agave angustifolia (Agavaceae) colonizes cliffs due to its capacity to produce huge quantities of bulbils.
- Lately, Rumex cristatus originating from the Balkans and Sicilia, and Rumex kerneri, originating from the Balkans only, are expanding their range to Southern Italy, from the Adriatic coast to Marche region.
- In Sicilia, Myoporum tenuifolium (Myoporaceae) is recorded as naturalized.
Galasso G, Chiozzi G, Azuma M, Banfi E (2008) [Allochtonous species in Italy: inventories, invasiveness and action plans] Proceedings of the conference held in Milano on 2008-11-27/28. Volume XXXVI – Fascicolo 1. Memorie della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano, 96 pp [In Italian].