, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 295-308

Biological Invasions in Austria: Patterns and Case Studies

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Abstract

This paper provides a review of the first national inventory of non-indigenous species in Austria. In summary, 1110 vascular plant species (27 of the entire flora), 83 mycetes and at least 500 animal species (approximately 1 of the entire fauna) were documented for Austria, which are introduced intentionally or unintentionally by humans after 1492 and reported from the wild. About 25 of non-indigenous vascular plant species have become naturalized. Most non-indigenous vascular plants are native to the Palaearctic region (55%; with 33% originating from the Mediterranean subregion) and North America (20%). More than 90% of non-indigenous plant species are confined to naturally and anthropogenically disturbed (ruderal, urban, arable land, and riverine) habitats. Aquatic ecosystems are more affected and vulnerable to changes in their animal species composition. The current data demonstrate that non-indigenous species continue to invade and disperse and it also emphasize the necessity and responsibility to develop scientific strategies to minimize the impact of biological invasions and to raise public awareness of the problem.