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Global exchange and accumulation of non - native plants

van Kleunen, M.; Dawson, W.; Essl, F.; Pergl, J.; Winter, M.; Weber, E.; Kreft, H.; Weigelt, P.; Kartesz, J.; Nishino, M.; Antonova, L.A.; Barcelona, J.F.; Cabezas, F.J.; Cárdenas, D.; Cárdenas-Toro, J.; Castaño, N.; Chacón, E.; Chatelain, C.; Ebel, A.L.; Figueiredo, E.; Fuentes, N.; Groom, Q.J.; Henderson, L.; Inderjit; Kupriyanov, A.; Masciadri, S.; Meerman, J.; Morozova, O.; Moser, D.; Nickrent, D.L.; Patzelt, A.; Pelser, P.B.; Baptiste, M.P.; Poopath, M.; Schulze, M.; Seebens, H.; Shu, W.; Thomas, J.; Velayos, M.; Wieringa, J.J.; Pyšek, P.

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M. van Kleunen

F. Essl

J. Pergl

M. Winter

E. Weber

H. Kreft

P. Weigelt

J. Kartesz

M. Nishino

L.A. Antonova

J.F. Barcelona

F.J. Cabezas

D. Cárdenas

J. Cárdenas-Toro

N. Castaño

E. Chacón

C. Chatelain

A.L. Ebel

E. Figueiredo

N. Fuentes

Q.J. Groom

L. Henderson


A. Kupriyanov

S. Masciadri

J. Meerman

O. Morozova

D. Moser

D.L. Nickrent

A. Patzelt

P.B. Pelser

M.P. Baptiste

M. Poopath

M. Schulze

H. Seebens

W. Shu

J. Thomas

M. Velayos

J.J. Wieringa

P. Pyšek


All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch1, 2 is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage3. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species.


van Kleunen, M., Dawson, W., Essl, F., Pergl, J., Winter, M., Weber, E., …Pyšek, P. (2015). Global exchange and accumulation of non - native plants. Nature, 525(7567), 100-103.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 14, 2015
Online Publication Date Aug 19, 2015
Publication Date Sep 3, 2015
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 1, 2016
Journal Nature
Print ISSN 0028-0836
Electronic ISSN 1476-4687
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 525
Issue 7567
Pages 100-103


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