Invasive Plant Species and the Ornamental Horticulture Industry

  • Alex X. Niemiera
  • Betsy Von Holle
Part of the Invading Nature – Springer Series In Invasion Ecology book series (INNA, volume 5)


The ornamental horticulture industry is responsible for the introduction, propagation, and transport of thousands of nonnative plant species, most of which stay in their intended locations or spread without significant environmental impacts. However, some nonindigenous plant species have proved to be particularly invasive and quite environmentally deleterious. The economically and politically powerful horticulture industry is faced with the dichotomous dilemma of the freedom to import and propagate plant species juxtaposed with the responsibility to be a diligent land steward. We discuss the various fundamental biological factors of plant invasion, as well as the environmental impacts, probability, prediction, and ranking of invasive species. We also review the role of the nursery industry in importing nonnative species, the perception of the problem by nursery personnel, and the impact of governmental and self-regulation. We conclude with recommendations for the ornamental plant industry to mitigate its role in dispersing invasive, nonnative plant species.


Ornamental horticulture industry nonindigenous species invasive plants voluntary regulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex X. Niemiera
    • 1
  • Betsy Von Holle
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HorticultureVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburg
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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