INVENTORY AND MAPPING OF INVASIVE SPECIES AILANTHUS ALTISSIMA (MILL.) SWINGLE IN URBAN AND PERI-URBAN AREAS: A NEW METHOD OF STUDY AND INTERPRETATION PUBLISHEDBogdan L. CRAINIC, Gabriel G. ARSENE, Alma L. NICOLIN email@example.com
Invasive species of plants are increasingly common, especially in anthropic modified ecosystems, becoming even dominant and replacing indigenous vegetation. Urban and peri urban areas with roads, railways and water channels, are risk zones for spreading them. Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle) is a rapidly expanding species, so it was introduced into the List of invasive alien species of Union concern (Regulation (EU) 1143/2014), being subject to restrictions and measures set out in the Regulation. In Romania, the species is common in warmer areas, on cliffs (such as those in the Danube Gorges), on the roadside, in the forest skirt, especially on degraded anthropic land; it is cultivated as ornamental and behaves well in various abiotic conditions. There is research on the distribution of species in Romania, habitat types and protected areas in which it is found, correlation with climate change, its impact on biodiversity, but our study pursued the enlargement of the Tree-of-Heaven in urban and peri-urban areas (southern Timisoara), trying to establish the possible “hot spots” of species spread, in which we could control its enlargement. For the mapping of the species, a five-stage measurement scale was proposed and used, including criteria relating to abundance, the presence of mature fructifying trees, shoots and seedlings. The data gathered from the field are cartographically illustrated and interpreted statistically. The study followed the validation of the proposed working method, its ability to illustrate the situation in the field, so as to constitute a fast, usable and non-specialised inventory and mapping protocol, i.e. a monitoring protocol of the expanding species over time for the proper management of concrete disposal and control actions applicable to other species of similar woody plants. The results can be used to informing and raise awareness of the urban and rural population so as to avoid the cultivation of the species for ornamental purposes.
invasive alien species, Ailanthus altissima, urban and peri-urban areas, Timișoara, measurement scale
Biology applied in Agriculture