LIFE project: Mitigating the threat of invasive alien plants in the EU through pest risk analysis to support the EU Regulation 1143/2014
When faced with a large species pool of invasive or potentially invasive alien plants, prioritization is an essential prerequisite to focus limited resources on species which inflict high impacts, have a high rate of spread and can be cost effectively managed. During a workshop held at the EPPO Headquarters in March 2016, 37 invasive alien plant species, selected from the EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants and a recent horizon scanning study, were prioritised for risk assessment using a modified version of the EPPO Prioritization Process, specially designed to be fully compliant with the Regulation (EU) No. 1143/2014. As a result, the following 16 species were selected and will be risk assessed under the EU funded LIFE project:
Ambrosia confertiflora (Asteraceae)
Ambrosia confertiflora (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) is a perennial herb native to Northern Mexico and the south-west of the United States. One of its English common names is burr ragweed. This species has been introduced to Australia and Israel. A. confertiflora has severe agricultural and environmental impacts, and its pollen is a severe allergen to humans. This species has a limited distribution in the EPPO region and can be considered an emerging invader.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/FRSCO
Andropogon virginicus (Poaceae)
Andropogon virginicus is a perennial grass native to North and Central America. One of its English common names is broomsedge. This species has been introduced into other continents; for example it has naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Prior to 2006, the only report from the EPPO region was in Russia. In 2006, it was first found in France in a military camp (‘Camp du Poteau’ – located partly in Gironde and Landes departments). The population of A. virginicus in France has multiplied significantly in the infested area (from 2 to 500 plants in two years) and as the species is considered to be invasive in other parts of the world, A. virginicus can be considered as an emerging invader in the EPPO region.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/ANOVI
Cardiospermum grandiflorum (Sapindales)
Cardiospermum grandiflorum (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) is a climbing vine originating from tropical Africa and Central and South America. It is used as an ornamental plant. It only reproduces by seeds, which are spread by wind and water. The plant smothers other plants in riparian habitats and forests, and is considered invasive in South Africa and Australia. In the EPPO region, it is recorded in Sicilia (IT), the Islas Canarias (ES) and Madeira (PT).
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/CRIGR
Cinnamomum camphora (Lauraceae)
Cinnamomum camphora (common name: Camphor laurel) is a tall tree species originating from East Asia. The species reproduces by seed which are often spread by birds and water. C. camphora is naturalised in Australia, Southern USA, Southern Europe and East Africa. Where the species invades, it forms a dense canopy competing with and displacing native plant species. Although C. camphora has a limited occurrence in the wild in the EPPO region, the species is widely planted as an ornamental. Due to its impacts in other regions of the world, evaluating the potential risks for this species is warranted.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/CINCA
Cortaderia jubata (Poaceae)
Cortaderia jubata is a tall species of grass commonly known as pampas grass. Native to South America, C. jubata has been planted as an ornamental species and for forage shelter and erosion control in a number of countries throughout the world. C. jubata is naturalised in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA where it is regarded as an invasive species. At present C. jubata is not present in the wild within the EPPO region but due to its impacts elsewhere an evaluation of the potential risks to native biodiversity from this species is warranted.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/CDTJU
Ehrharta calycina (Poaceae)
Native to South Africa, Ehrharta calycina is a species of grass which often becomes a weedy species in regions where it has been introduced. It is regarded as an invasive species in California (USA) where it invades native shrub communities displacing native species and altering the structure of the ecosystem. In Australia, the species invades woodlands. Within the EPPO region, E. calycina has been introduced into Portugal and Spain.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/EHRCA
Gymnocoronis spilanthoides (Asteraceae)
Gymnocoronis spilanthoides (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) (common name Senegal tea) is a semi-aquatic emergent perennial plant native to South America. The species is used in the aquarium trade. Within the EPPO region it is not recorded as naturalized. Because this plant has shown invasive behaviour where it has been introduced elsewhere in the world, it can be considered a potential future invader in Europe.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/GYNSP
Hakea sericea (Proteaceae)
Hakea sericea (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) is a shrub originating from Australia. It has been voluntarily introduced for ornamental purposes, particularly to form protective hedges. The common name for H. sericea is silky hakea, referring to silky hair on the tip growth. In South Africa, H. sericea is highly invasive, outcompeting native plant species by forming dense monocultures. Within the EPPO region, the species is recorded in the South of France and in Spain, and is considered invasive in Portugal. Because its distribution is still very limited, this plant can be considered a new emerging invader in Europe.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/HKASE
Humulus japonicus (Cannabaceae)
Humulus japonicus (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) is an annual climber vine originating from East Asia. Its common name in English is ‘Japanese hop’. In Europe, it is only recorded in France, Hungary and Italy where it has shown invasive behaviour in wetlands. Because its distribution is still limited, this species can be considered a new emerging invader.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/HUMJA
Hygrophila polysperma (Acanthoideae)
Hygrophila polysperma (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) (common name: Indian swamp weed) is an aquatic perennial plant native to Asia. The species is traded as an aquarium plant. Within the EPPO region, it is not recorded as naturalized. Considering the invasive behaviour of this species elsewhere in the world, it is considered that flowing freshwater bodies of the Mediterranean and temperate countries are at risk, and that the species should be monitored, particularly in countries currently importing this species as an aquarium plant.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/HYGPO
Lespedeza cuneata (Faboideae)
Lespedeza cuneata is an erect semi-woody forb which can reach 2 m in height. Native to Asia and Australia, L. cuneata invades grasslands and open forest communities often forming dense monocultures which compete with native species for light and nutrients. Currently L. cuneata is absent from the wild within the EPPO region but the impacts of the species in other regions of the world, and the fact that the species is available as an horticultural plant within the EPPO region, warrant an evaluation of the risks the species may pose to the region.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/LESCU
Lygodium japonicum (Lygodiaceae)
Lygodium japonicum (commonly known as Japanese climbing fern) is a species of climbing fern native to East Asia. The species has been introduced into North America, where it has had a significant negative impact in commercial pine plantations. L. japonicum can have negative impacts on native plant species by reducing light penetration levels from the canopy. The species is currently absent from the wild within the EPPO region but an evaluation of its potential impacts is warranted especially as the plant is traded.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/LYFJA
Prosopis juliflora (Mimosoideae)
Prosopis juliflora is a highly invasive thorny tree/shrub in some regions of the world where it has been introduced. Native to the Americas and introduced into Asia, Africa and Australia, P. juliflora can form thick impenetrable monocultures which degrade agricultural land and outcompete native biodiversity. As the species produces thick thorns which can pierce vehicle tyres and injure humans, P. juliflora has significant social impacts. Although the species is not currently present in the wild within the EPPO region, areas of the Mediterranean may be conducive to its establishment. A risk assessment for the EPPO region will gather all available information on the species and evaluate if the species can establish and spread under current and future climatic conditions.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/PRCJU
Sapium sebiferum (Euphorbiaceae)
Sapium sebiferum (commonly known as Chinese tallow tree) is a fast growing small tree species which produces a prolific amount of seeds which are dispersed by water, birds and man. Native to East Asia, S. sebiferum is currently reported as invasive in Australia, North America and Africa (South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia). Currently, the species is absent from the wild within the EPPO region, though the potential for its establishment is considered high.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/SAQSE
Pistia stratiotes (Aroideae)
Pistia stratiotes (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) is an aquatic plant originating from South America. It is extensively traded for ornamental and aquarium purposes. The plant is thought to spread via aquarium waste or escapees from ornamental ponds. It is an invasive plant often found in the tropics and subtropics. Its common name is water lettuce in English and laitue d’eau in French. In the EPPO region, it is considered invasive in Canary Islands (Spain).
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/PIIST
Salvinia molesta (Salviniaceae)
Salvinia molesta (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) is a floating aquatic fern originating from South America. Its common name is giant salvinia. The plant is traded as an aquatic ornamental plant, as well as an aquarium plant. It is thought that most infestations have arisen from discarded aquarium material. Within the EPPO region, it has recently been recorded in 2 localities in Italy (in 2000 in a canal (Fosso del-Acqua calda) near Pisa, and in 2003 in the Pozzo del Merro lake near Rome), as well as in Portugal and Corsica. Because this plant has shown invasive behaviour where it has been introduced elsewhere in the world, and is still of very limited distribution in the EPPO region, it can be considered a new emerging invader in Europe.
EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/SAVMO
EPPO Secretariat (2016-05)