EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 09 - 2019 Num. article: 2019/196

Prunus serotina in Italy

Prunus serotina (Rosaceae: EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) is a tree species native to North America. The species was first introduced into the EPPO region in the 17th century as an ornamental tree species for parks and gardens. Since then, the species has become a problematic species in parts of the EPPO region where it can cause negative environmental impacts. The species can have an impact on ecosystem services and is a strong competitor for water and nutrients. It can have a high economic impact in the areas it invades and can cause significant management issues: the species is both difficult and costly to control. P. serotina was first introduced into Italy at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1922, it was introduced for forest provenance trials in the province of Varese and from there it spread to northern parts of the country and became locally invasive. At present, in Italy, P. serotina is present in 7 regions and in 3 of these regions the species has negative impacts on plant communities. Under the Regulation (EU) 1143/2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species, EU Member States may establish national lists of invasive alien species of Member State concern. For these species, management measures can be applied nationally to mitigate their impacts. With the implementation of prevention measures and management plans for existing populations, coupled with awareness raising activities, further spread of the species could be avoided in Italy. Thus, authors recommend that the species is included in the Italian national list of priority invasive alien species and this will facilitate reducing the spread and impact of the species. 


Forte TGW, Brundu G, Celesti-Grapow L, Siniscalco, Barni E (2019) Prunus serotina in Italy: a challenging candidate for the national list of priority invasive alien species.Plant Biosystems, DOI: 10.1080/11263504.2019.1666173

Lazzaro L, Bolpagni R, Barni E, Brundu G, Blasi C, Siniscalco C, Celestri-Grapow L (2019) Towards alien plant prioritization in Italy: methodological issues and first results. Plant Biosystems, DOI: 10.1080/11263504.2019.1640310.