EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 09 - 2017 Num. article: 2017/177

Molecular ecology of three invasive Heracleum species in Europe

Heracleum mantegazzianum (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants), H. persicum and H. sosnowskyi (both EPPO A2 List) are three invasive species of hogweeds in the EPPO region. They were introduced in the 19th century as garden ornamentals and as fodder species in the middle of the 20th century. Population genetic structure and variation were studied used AFLP fingerprinting and the authors employed a biogeographical sampling approach on three scales: (i) continental, covering 16 countries in Europe, (ii) regional, covering three regions (the United Kingdom, Czech Republic and the Swiss Alps), and (iii) local, consisting of one river system in England. For H. mantegazzianum, sampling also covered approximately a half of its distribution area in the native range (Caucasus). Samples from the native area of H. persicum (Iran) and H. sosnowskyi (Caucasus) were also obtained. In total over 2 000 individuals from 180 populations were sampled. Preliminary results for H. mantegazzianum revealed a higher within-population variation in the native populations compared to invaded populations. The United Kingdom samples for H. mantegazzianum showed a higher among-population variation than those of the Czech and Swiss regions, possibly due to more isolated populations in UK. On the local scale, a limited genetic varability was detected along particular rivers, but stronger differentiation within the same catchment.


Jahodova S, Pyšek P (2017) Molecular ecology of three invasive Heracleum species in Europe.  Oral Presentation: Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions (Lisbon, PT, 2017-09-04/08).