EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 07 - 2020 Num. article: 2020/156

Alien flora across European coastal dunes

In Europe, human activities in coastal areas, coupled with increased urbanization has led to increased habitat loss and an increased number of invasive alien plants in these regions. Most species are unintentionally dispersed by visitors, but a small number of species are intentionally planted on dunes for ornamental purposes. Using data from the European Vegetation Archive (EVA), the current study set out to assess the level of invasion across coastal dunes in Europe. In total 23 446 vegetation plots were evaluated from four coastal regions (Atlantic, Baltic, Black Sea and Mediterranean). 133 neophytes, representing 7 % of the total number of species in the datasets, were present in the vegetation plots. Four species (Erigeron canadensis (Asteraceae), Xanthium orientale (Asteraceae), Oenothera biennis (Onagraceae) and Oenothera oakesiana (Onagraceae)), all native to the Americas accounted for 44 % of all neophyte occurrences. The richness of neophyte species was higher overall in stable dune grasslands compared to shifting dune systems. The Atlantic region had the highest number of neophytes whereas the Black Sea dunes had the highest frequency of occurrences. The study highlights that invasive plant management in dune systems should be a priority.


Giulio S, Acosta ATR, Carboni M, Campos JA, Chytry M, Loidi J, Pergl J, Pyšek P, Isermann M, Janssen JAM, Rodwell JS, Schaminee JHJ, Marceno C (2020) Alien flora across European coastal dunes. Applied Vegetation Science, DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12490.