Management success of three invasive alien plant species in a Central European National Park
The protected areas of Europe are often a refuge for rare and endangered animal and plant species playing an important role in nature conservation throughout the region. This is especially relevant when consideration is given to the long history of human intervention on the landscape. However, protected areas are vulnerable to invasion by invasive alien plants and as a result significant resources are allocated to their management and control in such areas. In the Thayatal-Podyjí National Park (which runs along the Austrian-Czech border), Fallopia x bohemica (Polygonaceae, EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants), Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae, EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) and Robinia pseudoacacia (Fabaceae) have been subject to management measures since 2001. Surveys, conducted in 2001 and 2010, have shown that the distribution of each species has changed over time and when coupled with data on management, it is possible to attain an understanding on the effectiveness of management effort for each species. From 2001 to 2010 management effort per hectare was highest for F. x bohemica (2 657 hours), followed by R. pseudoacacia (1 473 hours) and I. glandulifera (270 hours). However, even with the highest effort, F. x bohemica has become more widespread whereas the area covered by I. glandulifera and R. pseudoacacia has decreased. Due to the extensive root system and the ability to regenerate from small rhizome fragments, F. x bohemica could be regarded as the more difficult species to manage; however, all three species come with management complications. A systematic approach for monitoring the efficacy of management efforts in protected areas is recommended.
Schiffleithner V, Essl F (2016) Is it worth the effort? Spread and management success of invasive alien plant species in a Central European National Park. Neobiota 31, 43-61.