Alien plants

Alien plants

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Alien plants, the list of plantsallochthonouswidespread in Italy. The most invasive exotic species and the most popular ones.

Globalization has opened the borders to a large volume of goods and business. Unfortunately, however, a phenomenon capable of causing severe imbalances to ecosystems has intensified, the introduction of alien species.

Alien species, what are they?

An alien species is not extraterrestrial. The term "alien species" is equivalent toallochthonous species. In biology, a species that, due to human activities, finds itself colonizing a territory other than its natural habitat is defined as “allochthonous”.

It is important to emphasize that the alien species have been introducedaccidentallyby human work. Some species currently considered alien they have been introduced voluntarily, for ornamental or commercial purposes, however, after a first introduction, these species have colonized our territory sometimes causing damage to the local vegetation.

Other terms commonly used to indicate an alien species (or alien species) are: non-native species, non-indigenous species or exotic species.

Are alien plants dangerous?

In some cases, thealien plantsthey can pose a serious threat to our ecosystems. In the place of origin, the one determined plant it may not be considered invasive because there may be natural predators or other plants competing for the same resources. In Italy, that plant will certainly find different conditions and will be able to exert its eventual aggressiveness to the point of suffocating the local plants.

Not all alien species are dangerous. There are in fact examples in which thealien plantsthey have become a wealth of our territory.

Two examples ofalien speciesnow perfectly integrated into the Italian landscape and culture are the locust trees and prickly pears. Robinia is now very widespread. It was introduced for ornamental purposes and today it is widespread especially in wooded areas. It has become an integral part of our territory so much so that it can be considered onenaturalized alien species.

The most common alien plants in Italy

We offer you thelistof thealien botanical speciesmore widespread in Italy, placing an emphasis on the more invasive ones or those that could cause serious damage to local biodiversity. Here is the list:

  • Ambrosia. Botanical name, Ambrosia artemisiifolia
  • Polygon of Japan. Botanical name, Reynoutria japonica
  • South African Senecione. Botanical name, Senecio inaequidens (exotic species introduced voluntarily)
  • Hogweed of Mantegazza. Botanical name, Heracleum mantegazzianum
  • Lotus flower. Botanical name, Nelumbo nucifera
  • Tiny duckweed. Botanical name, Lemna minuta
  • Phytolacca. Botanical name, Phytolacca americana
  • Wild courgette. Botanical name, Sicyos angulatus
  • Paper mulberry. Botanical name, Broussonetia papyrifera
  • Ailianto. Botanical name, Ailanthus altissima
  • American cherry. Botanical name, Prunus serotina

We have also included some in the listexotic speciesintroduced into Italy voluntarily but which could equally cause damage to the vegetation as containment measures have never been taken. The spread outside the introduction areas has therefore beenaccidental.

TheLotus flower,for example, it is a plant introduced voluntarily in the early 1900s when it was cultivated in the lakes of Mantua for ornamental purposes. It is a much loved plant, so much so that over time more and more rustic and cold-resistant hybrids have been selected. Unfortunately, the Nelumbo nucifera species, although very beautiful, could cause serious damage to fish and amphibians by reducing the penetrating light in the water and removing oxygen. Very similar to that of duckweed, highly invasive and harmful: it creates large areas unlivable for aquatic, plant and animal species. The effect on aquatic fauna is wide-ranging. Birds and palmipeds that normally feed on fish and aquatic reptiles are forced to move away from the reservoirs rendered inhospitable by the duckweed.

Ambrosia is a very invasive and dangerous plant for humans. A good number of allergic cases have been documented. Ragweed pollens cause itching, tearing, oculorinitis and bronchial asthma.

A concrete threat to our local biodiversity is given by the Japan polygon, also initially introduced voluntarily in Europe but also in this case without carrying out the necessary assessments, so much so that it was recently included inlist of the hundred most invasive species in Europe. We find it mainly in rural areas and near waterways where it replaces spontaneous vegetation. The same dangers are linked to South African senecione, toxic for ingestion for animals and humans.

The American cherry, Prunus serotina, was introduced to Lombradia from North America in the early 1900s. Today the American cherry tree is spreading fast and is suffocating. native species.

Invasive alien species

There are many Italian regions which, to defend themselves from the most invasive alien species, have introduced specific rules. These regional regulations are aimed at limiting the spread of those more invasive alien species.

The European Union has also expressed itself on the issuealien speciesboth when it comes toanimalsthatplants. As for botany, the EU has drawn up a list of plants that can no longer be marketed. The list contains the species not to be marketed, the alien species to monitor, to contain and the alien plants more aggressive to eradicate.

Video: Forza Horizon 4 LEGO - All 25 Alien Plants Location Guide (June 2022).