1/ Impact scoring as a basis for the management of invasive plants

We conducted the first quantitative scoring of environmental and socioeconomic impacts of invasive plants in Europe, based on a wide range of effects on resident species, communities and ecosystems. This approach, reflecting the newly introduced EU legislation on invasive species, yielded information that made it possible to elaborate the first national checklist of noxious plant and animal invaders (Black List) as well as of those that may become dangerous in the future (Watch List).

Top alien species ranked according to decreasing environmental (green bars) and socioeconomic (orange bars) impacts. Taken from Rumlerová et al., Biological Invasions, 18: 3697–3711, 2016, and modified.

Giant cane
(Arundo donax) belongs to invasive plants with most serious environmental and socioeconomic impacts in Europe. It is widely distributed in the Mediterranean region where it forms extensive stands on unmanaged wasteland in towns and villages and along roads in open landscape, causing great socioeconomic impacts. However, this plant also invades valuable riparian communities, outcompeting native species and forming vigorous monodominant stands along water courses and in wetlands.

  • Gioria, Margherita; Pyšek, Petr. The legacy of plant invasions: changes in the soil seed bank of invaded plant communities. Bioscience 2016, Roč. 66, č. 1, s. 40-53. ISSN 0006-3568.
  • Pergl, Jan; Genovesi, P.; Pyšek, Petr. Better management of alien species. Nature 2016, Roč. 531, č. 7593, s. 173-173. ISSN 0028-0836.
  • Pergl, Jan; Sádlo, Jiří; Petrusek, A.; Laštůvka, Z.; Musil, J.; Perglová, Irena; Šanda, R.; Šefrová, H.; Šíma, J.; Vohralík, V.; Pyšek, Petr. Black, Grey and Watch Lists of alien species in the Czech Republic based on environmental impacts and management strategy. Neobiota 2016, Roč. 28, č. 1, s. 1-37. ISSN 1619-0033.
  • Nentwig, W.; Bacher, S.; Pyšek, Petr; Vila, M.; Kumschick, S. The Generic Impact Scoring System (GISS): a standardized tool to quantify the impacts of alien species. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2016, Roč. 188, č. 5, s. 1-13, č. článku 315. ISSN 0167-6369.


2/ Gardening in the zone of death: an experimental assessment of the absolute elevation limit of vascular plants

What factors govern the maximum elevational limits of vascular plants? In Himalayas we transplanted 12 species to different elevations and monitored their survival for 6 years. In the first 3 years, there were plants surviving beyond their natural upper limit. Substantial warming very likely facilitated the survival. No species have survived at 6100 m since 2013 due to extreme snowfall. Our results show that episodic extreme events are decisive determinants of upper limits of vascular plants.

NW slope of Chamser Kangri Peak (6666 m) where we conducted 6-year transplant experiment.

  • Dvorský, Miroslav; Chlumská, Zuzana; Altman, Jan; Čapková, K.; Řeháková, Klára; Macek, Martin; Kopecký, Martin; Liancourt, Pierre; Doležal, Jiří. Gardening in the zone of death: an experimental assessment of the absolute elevation limit of vascular plants. Scientific Reports 2016, Roč. 6, č. 24440, s. 1-10. ISSN 2045-2322.


3/ Recent similarity in distribution ranges does not mean a similar postglacial history

We reconstructed the historical pattern of postglacial biogeographic range expansion of the boreal tree species grey alder (Alnus incana) in Europe. Our findings highlight the importance of an effective refugium in Central Europe located outside classical southern refugia confirming the existence of northern refugia for boreal trees in Europe. Moreover, Fennoscandian populations are not derived from Eastern-European ones, but from Central-European ones.

The most probable colonization scenario of Europe by grey alder (Alnus incana). Empty arrows indicate the most probable colonization scenario for southern refugial populations, black arrows indicate the most probable colonization scenario of areas covered by the ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum.

  • Mandák, Bohumil; Havrdová, Alena; Krak, Karol; Hadincová, Věroslava; Vít, Petr; Zákravský, Petr; Douda, Jan. Recent similarity in distribution ranges does not mean a similar postglacial history: a phylogeographical study of the boreal tree species Alnus incana based on microsatellite and chloroplast DNA variation. New Phytologist 2016, Roč. 210, č. 4, s. 1395-1407. ISSN 0028-646X.