Pistia stratiotes in Morocco
Pistia stratiotes (Araceae: EPPO A2 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 established in the Mediterranean region (RS 2019/127). P. stratiotes was first reported in Morocco in the natural environment around 2013 (RS 2013/156). During field surveys carried out during December 2018 – April 2019 in north central Morocco (Al Jawahir Wadi) P. stratiotes populations were sampled. Here the species forms monospecific populations on slow moving water surfaces. In upstream areas, P. stratiotes forms permanent populations which can act as sources for further spread into uninvaded areas. The invasion risk of the species into local wetlands is increased in this area by water management, and wetland habitat modification and urbanisation. Measures should be implemented to limit the expansion of the population.
Khbbach A, Libiad M, Ennabili A (2019) Invasion increasing risk of Al Jawahir Wadi lentic habitats by Pistia stratiotes L. (North-Central Morocco). Botanica Complutensi, 43, 97-107.