EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 01 - 2017 Num. article: 2017/025

Distribution of invasive plants in urban environments in the Czech Republic

Urban environments can harbor numerous non-native plant species distributed across a wide range of habitats.  In central Europe, alien flora in large cities can comprise of ~ 40 % of the total number of plant species and in the Czech Republic more than half of the 1 454 alien plant species are confined to human settlements.  The present study investigated the relationship between species richness of invasive neophytes and the ecosystem types in the city of Hradec Králové in eastern Bohemia which is one of the ten largest cities in the Czech Republic.  The study area included arable land, the old city centre, railway station and adjacent industrial land, as well as bio-corridors – roads, railways, and two rivers (the Orlice river and the Labe river).  Apart from inaccessible private gardens and army barracks, the whole study site was sampled.  Field work was conducted between July and September (2004) and 42 neophytes were identified.  The highest species richness of neophytes was found along road margins (32 species), ruderal sites (28 species) and railway sites (23 species).  Twenty-one species occurred along river banks and in cultivated areas.  The most common neophytes were annuals (14 species) native to North America.  The total number of neophytes significantly decreased with increasing distance from the city centre.  The study highlights that when planning urban planting, evaluating the potential invasiveness of species planted is important.  


Štajerovák, Šmilauer P, Brůna J, Pyšek P (2017) Distribution of invasive plants in urban environment is strongly spatially structured. Landscape Ecology, DOI: 10.1007/s10980-016-0480-9.