Impact Assessment on Floral Composition and Spread Potential of Mikania micrantha H.B.K. in an Urban Scenario

  • Achyut Kumar BanerjeeEmail author
  • C. Sudhakar Reddy
  • Anjana Dewanji
Research Article


The present study is concerned with one of the top ten worst weeds of the world, Mikania micrantha H.B.K., and its growth in a rapidly urbanizing city, Kolkata. The two primary objectives were to assess the impact of this invasive plant on floral diversity as well as its potential for spread into new areas. A quadrat based assessment was conducted to estimate the impact of M. micrantha on floral diversity at 69 terrestrial sites which were subsequently grouped on the basis of the infestation size of M. micrantha. A significant reduction in the number of native species with increasing infestation size of M. micrantha was noted. The clay component of soil texture along major roadsides, as found in this study, significantly favoured extra-large growth of M. micrantha in contrast to the sandy loam soil type which generally favours their luxuriant growth in forest areas. The ‘distance from road network’ analysis revealed that most of the large infestations were along highways and that the satellite infestations of M. micrantha did not readily progress into larger infestations along minor roads. Application of remote sensing technology identified the vulnerability of the ‘sparse vegetation’ land use class for future spread of infestation. Although majority of the infested sites comprised of satellite populations with very few extra-large patches, the rapid rate of urbanization within cities highlights the need for ‘early detection and rapid response’ to prevent large scale invasion in future.


Mikania micrantha H.B.K. Invasion Native species richness Soil Land use Road network 



The authors would like to thank Indian Statistical Institute for necessary funding; National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad for the satellite imagery; and Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata for their assistance in identification of the plant species. The authors are grateful to Prof. Anup Dewanji of Applied Statistics Unit for his advice on statistical procedures; to Dr. Chiranjeeb Medda, Dr. Prabir Ghoshal, Ms. Arpita Ganguly, Ms. Poulami Jha of Agricultural and Ecological Research Unit (AERU), ISI and Mr. Abhishek Kundu of Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswa Vidyalaya (BCKV) for analytical support, and to Mr. Sourav Sengupta, Mr. Sandip Chatterjee and Mr. Susant Mahankur, AERU, ISI for their technical assistance in the field. The authors would also like to thank all the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions for the improvement of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Achyut Kumar Banerjee
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Sudhakar Reddy
    • 2
  • Anjana Dewanji
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural and Ecological Research UnitIndian Statistical InstituteKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Forestry and Ecology DivisionNational Remote Sensing Centre, Indian Space Research OrganizationHyderabadIndia

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