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Global exchange and accumulation of non - native plants.

van Kleunen, M. and Dawson, W. and Essl, F. and Pergl, J. and Winter, M. and Weber, E. and Kreft, H. and Weigelt, P. and Kartesz, J. and Nishino, M. and Antonova, L.A. and Barcelona, J.F. and Cabezas, F.J. and Cárdenas, D. and Cárdenas-Toro, J. and Castaño, N. and Chacón, E. and Chatelain, C. and Ebel, A.L. and Figueiredo, E. and Fuentes, N. and Groom, Q.J. and Henderson, L. and Inderjit, and Kupriyanov, A. and Masciadri, S. and Meerman, J. and Morozova, O. and Moser, D. and Nickrent, D.L. and Patzelt, A. and Pelser, P.B. and Baptiste, M.P. and Poopath, M. and Schulze, M. and Seebens, H. and Shu, W. and Thomas, J. and Velayos, M. and Wieringa, J.J. and Pyšek, P. (2015) 'Global exchange and accumulation of non - native plants.', Nature., 525 (7567). pp. 100-103.


All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch1, 2 is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage3. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:14 July 2015
Date deposited:01 March 2016
Date of first online publication:19 August 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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