Alien plants, animals, fungi and algae in Norway: an inventory of neobiota

Abstract

We present the results of an inventory and status assessment of alien species in Norway. The inventory covered all known multicellular neobiota, 2496 in total, 1039 of which were classified as naturalised. The latter constitute c. 3% of all species known to be stably reproducing in Norway. These figures are higher than expected from Norway’s latitude, which may be due a combination of climatic and historical factors, as well as sampling effort. Most of the naturalised neobiota were plants (71%), followed by animals (21%) and fungi (8%). The main habitat types colonised were open lowlands (79%), urban environments (52%) and woodlands (42%). The main areas of origin were Europe (67%), North America (15%) and Asia (13%). For most taxa, the rate of novel introductions seems to have been increasing during recent decades. Within Norway, the number of alien species recorded per county was negatively correlated with latitude and positively correlated with human population density. In the high-Arctic territories under Norwegian sovereignty, i.e. Svalbard and Jan Mayen, 104 alien species were recorded, of which 5 were naturalised.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Pål Adolfsen, Helge Bardal (Norwegian Veterinary Institute), Henrik H. Berntsen (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research), Otte Bjelland, Jan H. Sundet (Institute of Marine Research), Kristina Bjureke, Geir Søli (Natural History Museum), Preben S. Ottesen (Norwegian Institute of Public Health), Mikael Svensson (Swedish Species Information Centre) and Eva Vike (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) for help with the inventory.

Funding

The inventory was financed by the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre.

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LG was project leader and organised the inventory; HSa, OH and LG prepared the guidelines; DD, RE, TF, EF, HHa, KH, VH, GK, FØ, HCP, HaSo and BGS headed the expert committees that carried out the inventories; PAÅ, SÅ, T-EB, HE, AE, AF, SF, ØG, JOG, BG, IH, BAH, HHe, TH, AJ, TCJ, SIJ, EK, CM, KN, BN, EO, OP, PAP, KS, JKS, HeSo, LS, JES, POS, VT, VV, KBW, RW and BY were members of these expert committees; OH and LG assisted the expert committees in their work; HSa analysed the data with input from SH, OH and VV; HSa wrote the article with input from the remaining authors.

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Correspondence to Hanno Sandvik.

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Sandvik, H., Dolmen, D., Elven, R. et al. Alien plants, animals, fungi and algae in Norway: an inventory of neobiota. Biol Invasions 21, 2997–3012 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-019-02058-x

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Keywords

  • Alien species
  • Casual species
  • Naturalised species
  • Neomycetes
  • Neophytes
  • Neozoa