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Plant invasions in China – challenges and chances

Axmacher, JC; Sang, W; (2013) Plant invasions in China – challenges and chances. PLoS One , 8 (5) , Article e64173. 10.1371/journal.pone.0064173. Green open access

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Abstract

Invasive species cause serious environmental and economic harm and threaten global biodiversity. We set out to investigate how quickly invasive plant species are currently spreading in China and how their resulting distribution patterns are linked to socio-economic and environmental conditions. A comparison of the invasive plant species density (log species/ log area) reported in 2008 with current data shows that invasive species were originally highly concentrated in the wealthy, southeastern coastal provinces of China, but they are currently rapidly spreading inland. Linear regression models based on the species density and turnover of invasive plants as dependent parameters and principal components representing key socio-economic and environmental parameters as predictors indicate strong positive links between invasive plant density and the overall phytodiversity and associated climatic parameters. Principal components representing socio-economic factors and endemic plant density also show significant positive links with invasive plant density. Urgent control and eradication measures are needed in China’s coastal provinces to counteract the rapid inland spread of invasive plants. Strict controls of imports through seaports need to be accompanied by similarly strict controls of the developing horticultural trade and underpinned by awareness campaigns for China’s increasingly affluent population to limit the arrival of new invaders. Furthermore, China needs to fully utilize its substantial native phytodiversity, rather than relying on exotics, in current large-scale afforestation projects and in the creation of urban green spaces.

Type: Article
Title: Plant invasions in China – challenges and chances
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064173
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0064173
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Axmacher, Sang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The authors' research was financially supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Fellowship for International Scientists (Fellowship Number 2011T2S18) the ‘111 Program’ of the Bureau of China Foreign Experts and Ministry of Education (contract No. 2008-B08044) and the ‘Public Environment Benefits Programme’ of the Ministry of Environment Protection (201209027-2). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: Invasive species, China, Plants, Herbs, Trees, Species diversity, Biodiversity, Population density
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1390580
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