Biological invasions by plants in continental Central America

Chacón-Madrigal, E., Avalos, G., Hofhansl, F. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0073-0946, Coronado, I., Ferrufino-Acosta, L., MacVean, A., & Rodríguez, D. (2022). Biological invasions by plants in continental Central America. In: Global Plant Invasions. Eds. Clements, D., Upadhyaya, M., Joshi, S. & Ahrestha, A., Springer.

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Abstract

The Central American biota have been determined by natural biological exchangesresulting from complex geological and climatic events during its formation. However, it has alsobeen significantly affected by the arrival and spread of the humans, which introduceddomesticated species and others that incidentally came with them. Several non-native plantspecies have been established as a result of anthropogenic transport and the climatic andgeographic properties of the region. Among naturalized species, several plants have becomeproblematic in distinct ecosystems and are now recognized as invasive species. In the present chapter, we have collected a list of non-native species of plants for each Central Americancountry. The plants were classified as cultivated or naturalized. From these, we have compiledsome examples of plants considered invasive species in Central America. Our compilation lists1,628 non-native plant taxa (species and varieties) introduced in Central America, of which only3.9% (64 species) are common to all countries and 50.1% (816 species) are naturalized in at leastone country. We present 26 invasive plant species that are problematic in at least one or severalcountries. We have considered five types of natural ecosystems and two types of managedecosystems across Central America and examined how non-native species have impacted them.Although there are invasive species in all the ecosystems analyzed, most of the consequencesremain unknown. We conclude that many invaders have the potential to displace native plantspecies, significantly impact the functionality of both natural and managed ecosystems, and alsohave an economic impact. Policies to prevent invasions and management practices of invasivespecies are required among Central American countries.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Central America, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, invasive plants
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services (AFE)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 08:13
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2021 08:13
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17627

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