Mapping invasive alien plants along riverbanks in Slovakia
Due to their high levels of disturbance and acting as natural corridors for spread, riverbanks can become inundated with invasive alien plants. Species like Fallopia japonica (Polygonaceae: EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) and Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae: EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) can form dense monocultures along riverbanks where they outcompete native biodiversity and can restrict access to the water for recreation purposes. In addition, these species die back in the winter months and plant material can become incorporated into the water body which can increase the risk of flooding. The current study focused on the riverbank vegetation of the stream Blatina in Slovakia. Sites where F. japonica and I. glandulifera had been recorded between 1988-2016 (Database of State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic) were surveyed. Each invasive population was measured, and each stand was documented with photographs. Locations where the invasive species were more widespread than previously recorded were measured and the database was updated with new localities when found. Laboratory experiments were conducted for F. japonica, where stem fragments of about 3-10 cm were collected and wet conditions were simulated to observe growth of the fragments. The results showed that even small stem fragments if kept damp have high regeneration potential.
Vasekova B, Nemetova Z, Keszeliova A, Stefunkova Z (2019) Mapping invasive plants in riverbank vegetation. Earth and Environmental Science 221, 012109.