First record of Pistia stratiotes in natural waterbodies in Serbia
Pistia stratiotes (Araceae - EPPO A1 List) is a free-floating perennial freshwater macrophyte native to South America. The species is invasive in many regions of the world including Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, North America, and Oceania. Within the EPPO region, P. stratiotes has been widely introduced as an ornamental species and is thought to be established in the Mediterranean region, as well as in thermally abnormal (warmed) waters in Slovenia and Germany. Within its invasive range, P. stratiotes can form dense monocultures on the surface of waterbodies which can have negative impacts on native plant communities and other aquatic organisms. The dense mats can block sunlight and act to decrease oxygen levels within the waterbody. In Serbia, the species had been reported from thermally abnormal waters in southeastern and eastern Serbia (Sićevačka klisura gorge in 1994 and near in Knjaževac city in Rgošta Banja spa in early 2000s). However, in 2017, the species was recorded at three locations in natural inland rivers in the Vojvodina Province (northern lowland part of Serbia). Both mature and young plants were recorded near the village Srpski Itebej close to the Romanian boarder (1.2 km downstream). The authors highlight that further research is needed to determine the exact population range and density of P. stratiotes in the region.
Živković MM, Anđelković AA, Cvijanović DL, Novković MZ, Vukov DM, Šipoš ŠŠ, Ilić MM, Pankov NP, Miljanović BM, Marisavljević DP, Pavlović DM, Radulović SB (2019) The beginnings of Pistia stratiotes L. invasion in the lower Danube delta: the first record for the Province of Vojvodina (Serbia). BioInvasions Records 8(2), 218–229.