TitleDistribution of invasive plants in urban environment is strongly spatially structured
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsŠtajerová, K, Šmilauer, P, Brůna, J, Pysek, P
JournalLandscape Ecology
KeywordsAlien; Species cover; Central Europe; Invasive; Neophyte; Species richness; Urban environment

Urban environments create a wide range of habitats that harbour a great diversity of plant species, many of which are of alien origin. For future urban planning and management of the green areas within the city, understanding of the spatial distribution of invasive alien species is of great importance.
Our main aim was to assess how availability of different ecosystem types within a city area, as well as several parameters describing urban structure interact in determining the cover and identity of invasive alien species.
We studied the distribution of chosen invasive plant species in a mid-sized city in the Czech Republic, central Europe, on a gradient of equal sized cells from the city centre to its outskirts.
A great amount of variation was explained by spatial predictors but not shared with any measured variables. The species cover of invasive species decreased with increasing proportion of urban greenery and distance from the city centre, but increased with habitat richness; road margins, ruderal sites, and railway sites were richest in invasive species. In contrast, the total number of invasive species in cells significantly decreased with increasing distance from the city centre, but increased with habitat richness.
Our results suggest that different invasive species prefer habitats in the vicinity of the city centre and at its periphery and the spatial structure and habitat quality of the urban landscape needs to be taken into account, in efforts to manage alien plant species invasions in urban environments.