Invasive plants in North America: a view from Ukraine
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Biodiv. Res. Conserv. 2008;(9-10):11–18
A biogeographical approach requires studying invasive plants within their native and synanthropic ranges, which has implications for the general theory of invasiveness and prediction/prevention of invasions. Many plant species native to Eastern Europe, and Ukraine in particular, are currently invasive elsewhere, including North America. However, 'weed exchange' between North America and Eastern Europe remains insufficiently studied, as well as its ecological factors. A preliminary assessment and analysis have been made of lists of plant species officially recognized as invasive in the US and Canada (national and state/province levels) and native to Ukraine. There are at least 120 such species, including 84 most important taxa shortlisted for the analysis. Some of them belong to taxonomically complicated groups (species of Euphorbia, Centaurea, Vincetoxicum etc.) and are among worst invaders (species of Centaurea, Lepidium, Euphorbia, Lythrum etc.). Families Asteraceae and Poaceae are most numerously represented (16.7% and 10.7%, respectively). A research overview for a comprehensive analysis of native Ukrainian plants considered invasive in North America is outlined, including aspects of their ecology, taxonomy, geography, patterns of invasions and invasiveness factors (based on phytoindication approaches and climatic models), and possible implications for biocontrol.