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PRELIMINARY LIST OF INVASIVE ALIEN PLANT SPECIES (IAS) IN BOSNIA AND

HERZEGOVINA
Semir Maslo
Primary School, Lundkerskola, Gislaved, Sweden E.mail: semmas@edu.gislaved.se

Abstract
As a result of 20 years of field research as well as herbarium and literature
searches, a preliminary list of invasive alien plant species has been compiled and is presented
here. It numbers 50 taxa, which equals 10% of the alien flora of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
invasive alien flora was further analyzed with respect to taxonomy, life forms, geographic
origin, first record and habitat type. The most common family is Asteraceae s. l. (19 taxa;
38%) and the predominant life form is therophytes (56%). The majority of the plant invasive
alien species originate from North America (52%).
Keywords: invasive alien plants, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Balkans.

Introduction
Plant invasion has been recognized as one of the most serious environmental
problems which impact the structure, composition and function of natural and semi-natural
ecosystems (Mooney & Hobbs, 2000). According to Genovesi & Shine (2003), invasive alien
species have been pointed out as the second cause of species extinction at the world level
(after habitat deterioration or loss).
Due to the concept of Richardson et al. (2000) and Pyek et al. (2004), plant
invasive alien species (IAS) are defined as naturalized plants that produce reproductive
offspring, often in very large numbers, at considerable distances from parent plants, and thus
have the potential to spread over large areas (produce reproductive offspring more than 100 m
in less than 50 years through generative reproduction/or more than 6 m in three years through
vegetative reproduction).
According to data available in Overview and status of Biological and
Landscape Diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Redi et al, 2008) 4569 taxa of vascular
flora have been registered in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Based on available
records, it is estimated that in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina occur more than 500
alien species, of which many got adapted in natural habitats. A significant number of them
lives only in crops (Redi et al, 2008).
In about one third of Bosnia and Herzegovina plant invanders the first records of
their occurrence in the wild are more than a century old ( Struschka, 1880: Murbeck, 1891;
Mal,1899;1908;1912), but with the majority of them quick expansion of populations took
place in the last 50 years. Since the 1950s a few works giving findings of alien flora from
various areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been published (Korica,1952; Bjeli, 1954;
Kovaevi, 1957; Slavni, 1960, 1964; ili, 1972/73, 1973; Obradovi & Budak, 1982;
Bjeli & Stefanovi, 1986; Abadi, 1986/87; Mii, 1998; ili & Abadi, 2000: oljan &
Muratovi, 2000, 2002, 2004; oljan et al, 2003;, Topali-Trivunovi, 2004, 2008, TomoviHadiavdi & oljan, 2006; Vojnikovi, 2009, 2015; Maslo, 2010, 2012, 2014a, 2014b, 2015;
Petrovi et al, 2011; oljan, 2011; Maslo & Abadi, 2015; Memievi Hodi et al, 2015).
There are no published complete lists or analyses of alien flora in Bosnia and Herzegovina as
a whole.

Tab. 1. List of plant invasive alien species (IAS) in Bosnia and Herzegovina
1st record/autor

Taxon

Family

Life
form

Origin

Abutilon theophrasti Medik.

Malvaceae

As-E

Struschka, 1880

Acer negundo L.

Aceraceae

Am-C&N

Tomovi-Hadiavdi. Riverine forest, waste places.


& oljan, 2006

Ailanthus altisima (Mill.) Sw.

Simaroubaceae

As-E

Struschka. 1880

Ruderalis/widespread, waste
places, railways, rocklands.

Amaranthus retroflexus L.

Amaranthaceae

Am-N

Struschka. 1880

Ruderalis, waste places,


cultivated soils, city lawns.

Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.

Asteraceae

Am-N

Maly, 1940

Waste places, cultivated soils.


river banks, city lawns.

Amorpha fruticosa L.

Fabaceae

Am-N

Beck , 1927

River banks.

Artemisia annua L.

Asteraceae

As-E

Murbeck ,1891

Ruderalis/widespread, waste
places, railways.

Artemisia verlotiorum L.

Asteraceae

As-E

Redi et al., 2008

Ruderalis, waste places,


railways.

Asclepias syriaca L.

Asclepiadaceae

Am-N

Maly, 1928

Wet meadows.

Aster squamatus (Spreng.) Heiron

Asteraceae

Am-C&S

Maslo, 2014a.

Ruderalis/waste places, river


banks.

Bidens frondosa L.

Asteraceae

Am-N

Bjeli, 1954

Ruderalis/waste places, river


banks.

Bidens subalternans DC.

Asteraceae

Am-S

Ilijani& Heimovi
1983.

Ruderalis, waste places,


railways.

Broussonetia papyrifera L`Herit ex


Vent.

Moraceae

As-E

Beck ,1916

Ruderalis/waste places,
vegetation near the road sides.

Chamomilla suaveolens (Pursh)


Rydb

Asteraceae

Am-S

Maly, 1912

Ruderalis, vegetation near the


road sides.

Chenopodium ambrosioides L.

Chenopodiaceae

Am-T

Beck ,1916

Conyza bonariensis (L.) Cronq.

Asteraceae

Am-C

Lasi et al, 2010

Ruderalis, vegetation near the


aste places, vegetation near the
road sides.
road sides.
Ruderalis, waste places,
railways.

Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq.

Asteraceae

Am-N

Struschka, 1880

Ruderalis/widespread.

Cuscuta campestris Yunker

Cuscutaceae

Am-N

Beck et al, 1967

Ruderalis, submediterranean
shrublands and rocklands.

Datura stramonium L.

Solanaceae

Am-N

Struschka, 1880

Ruderalis/widespread.

Duchesnea indica (Andrews) Focke

Rosaceae

As-E

Maslo, 2014b

City lawns, grasslands.

Echinocystis lobata (Michx.) Torr.


et Gray

Cucurbitaceae

Am-N

Slavni, 1964 (in


Abadi, 1986/87).

Ruderalis/waste places, river


banks.

Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn.

Poaceae

As

Mii, 1987
BOS. GRADIKA

City lawns, trampled habitats,


cracks in the asphalt.

Elodea canadensis Michx

Hydrocharitaceae

Hy

Am-N

Maly, 1928

Stagnant water, channels,


shalow lakes, ditches.

Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers. ssp.


annuus

Asteraceae

Am-N

Murbeck ,1891

Ruderalis/widespread, waste
places, shrublands.

Habitat type
Waste places, cultivated soils.

Euphorbia maculata L.

Euphorbiaceae

Am-N

Slavni, 1960

Ruderalis, trampled habitats,


railways..

Euphorbia prostrata Aiton

Euphorbiaceae

Am-N

Maslo, 2014b

Ruderalis, trampled habitats,


along roads and railway lines.

Galinsoga ciliata (Raf.) S.F.Blake

Asteraceae

Am-S

Beck et al, 1983

Disturbed habitats, weed in


gardens.

Galinsoga parviflora Cav.

Asteraceae

Am-S

Maly, 1933

Ruderalis/waste places, weed in


crops and gardens.

Helianthus tuberosus L.

Asteraceae

Am-N

Beck et al, 1983

Along roads and railways, river


banks, ditches, dikes.

Impatiens glandulifera Royle

Balsaminaceae

As

Maly, 1935

Along rivers, around dumpsites


and in disturbed habitats.

Juncus tenuis Willd..

Juncaceae

Am-N

Maly, 1935

Semi-natural and man-made


habitats.

Lepidium virginicum L.

Brassicaceae

Am-N

Maly, 1923

City lawns, along roads and


railways, cracks in the asphalt.

Oenanthera biennis L.

Onagraceae

Am-N

Beck ,1927

Ruderalis/waste places, on river


banks, near roads and railways.

Opuntia vulgaris Mill.

Cactaceae

Ch

Am-N

Maslo, 2014b

Mediterranean rocklands, in
rocky, sandy and grassy areas.

Panicum capillare L.

Poaceae

Am-N

Slavni, 1960

Along roads and railways.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.)


Planchon.

Vitaceae

Am-N

Beck ,1916

Along rivers and forest


margins, climbing and coiling
around trees.

Paspalum paspalodes (Michx.)


Scribn.

Poaceae

Am-N

Baji, 1954

Ruderalis, city lawns, river


banks.

Phytolacca americana L.

Phytolaccaceae

Am-N

Maly, 1908

Abandoned and ruderal places,


margins of forests, in gardens.

Pueraria thunbergiana Benth.

Fabaceae

As-E

Maslo, 2014b

Along rivers and forest


margins, coiling around trees.

Reynoutria japonica Houtt.

Polygonaceae

As

Trinajsti, 1990

Man-made habitats, along


roads and railways, dumpsites.

Robinia pseudoacacia L.

Fabaceae

Struschka 1880

Natural forests, along roads,


railways, river banks.

Rudbeckia laciniata L.

Asteraceae

Slavni, 1960

Along rivers and forest


margins, wetlands.

Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav.

Solanaceae

Am-S

Lasi et al, 2010

Ruderalis/waste places.

Solidago canadensis L.

Asteraceae

Am-N

Beck et al, 1983

Along rivers and forest


margins, roadsides, gardens.

Solidago gigantea Aiton

Asteraceae

Am-N

Maly, 1933

Along rivers and forest


margins, roadsides, gardens.

Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.

Poaceae

As

Struschka 1880

Tagetes minuta L.

Asteraceae

Am-S

TREBEVI
Maly, 1935

Grassy and sandy places, in


crops as a weed, roadsides.

Veronica persica Poir.

Scrophulariaceae

As -W

MOSTAR
Maly, 1899

Xantthium spinosum L.

Asteraceae

Am-S

Struschka, 1880

Ruderalis/waste places, along


roads, railways, river banks.

Xanthium strumarium L. ssp.


italicum (Moretti) D.Lve

Asteraceae

Am-N&S

Murbeck ,1891

Man-made and disturbed


habitats, river banks and dikes.

Am-N
Am-N

Waste places, along roads,


railways, vineyards, farmland.
Widespred

Although occasional attention has been paid to the alien flora in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, ecological studies on plant invasion are still scanty. Some data exist but the
authors do not rely on the criteria set by Richardson et al. (2000) and Pyek et al. (2004), and
their lists include some taxa that belong to the autochthonous flora of Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Redi et al, 2008; Vojnikovi, 2009). Both of these lists have even included a taxon that
does not exist in the flora of Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely Bidens bipinnata L. According
to Trinajsti (1993) all the previous states of B. bipinnata in the Eastern Adriatic Littoral refer
to the taxon Bidens subalternans DC. This is also confirmed by my own field research in
South Herzegovina. This work contains the first preliminary list of invasive alien plant
species (IAS) of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tab.2 Taxonomic spectrum of families of IAS in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Family
Asteraceae
Poaceae
Fabaceae
Euphorbiaceae
Solanaceae
Aceraceae
Amaranthaceae
Asclepiadaceae
Balsaminaceae
Brassicaceae
Cactaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Cucurbitaceae
Cuscutaceae
Hydrocharitaceae
Juncaceae
Malvaceae
Moraceae
Onagraceae
Phytolaccaceae
Polygonaceae
Rosaceae
Scrophulariaceae
Simaroubaceae
Vitaceae

No.of taxa
19
4
3
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

%
38.00
8.00
6.00
4.00
4.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
2.00

Materials and methods


The preliminary check-list of invasive alien plant species in Bosnia and
Herzegovina is mainly created according to literature data and my own field observations. All
relevant literature concerning alien species, their first records and their spread in the territory
of Bosnia and Herzegovina was examined.
Plant nomenclature follows Nikoli (ed.) (2015). In this work theAsteraceae
family is perceived in a broader sense (sensu lato), namely Asteraceae and Cichoriaceae
together.

In the list of invasive alien flora (Tab. 1.), taxa were listed in alphabetic order.
The invasiveness of species is estimated according to Richardson et al. (2000). The life-form
categories follow Raunkiaer (1934) and are marked with the standard abbreviations in the list
of urban flora: Ch (Chamaephytes), G (Geophytes), H (Hemmicriptophytes), Hy
(Hydrophytes), P (Phanerophytes) and T (Therophytes).
Data about the geographic origin of invasive alien taxa were taken mostly from
the available literature (see References).
Tab. 3. Origin analysis of invasive alien plant species (IAS) in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Geografic region/subregion
AMERICA

ASIA
TOTAL

Central America
Central & North America
Central & South America
North America
North & South America
South America
Tropical America
Asia
East Asia
West Asia

No. of
taxa
1
1
1
26
1
6
1
5
7
1

%
37

74.00

13

26.00

50

100.00

Results and discussion


The preliminary check-list of invasive alien plant species (IAS) in Bosnia and
Herzegovina consist of 50 taxa and is presented in Tab. 1. The list consists of IAS that belong
to 43 genera and 25 families (Tab. 2.), the majority of which (22 familes with 44 taxa) belong
to dicotyledones. Monocotyledones are represented by only 3 families with 6 taxa. The family
with the highest number of IAS is Asteraceae, which included 19 invasive taxa, which
account for more than one third of all IAS in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other families with a
considerable number of invasive taxa are Poaceae and Fabaceae, with 4 respectively 3 taxa,
while the other families are represented with two taxa or only one taxon (Tab.2). Comparisons
with the invasive floras of Croatia (Bori et al., 2008), Montenegro (Steevi & Petrovi,
2010), Serbia (Lazarevi et al., 2012) and Europe (Lambdon et al., 2008), show that the
representation of the richest families is very similar, and that these are mostly global plant
families. The family Asteraceae not only is an important contributor of IAS in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, but also is the largest dicotyledonous family and one of the notorious
contributors to the naturalized flora of the world (Pyek, 1998).The most abundant genera are
Artemisia, Bidens, Conyza, Euphorbia, Galinsoga, Solidago and Xanthium which all are
represented with two taxa (Tab. 1).
An analysis of life-forms of IAS in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Fig. 1.) shows the
predominance of therophytes with 28 taxa (56% of all IAS), followed by hemmicriptophytes
with 8 taxa (16%), phanerophytes with 7 taxa (14%) and geophytes with 5 taxa (10%), while
the least abundant are chamaephytes and hydrophytes with only one taxon each (2%). The
greatest procentage of recorded therophytes is similar to the alien floras of other countries in
the region (Bori et al., 2008; Steevi & Petrovi, 2010). On the other hand, such a high
presence of therophytes also matches their dominance in the native flora of the area. Quite a

large proportion of phanerophytes is connected with significant introductions of ornamental


and cultivated species of trees and shrubs.

Fig. 1. Life-form analysis of invasive alien plant species (IAS) in Bosnia and Herzegovina
An analysis of the geographical origin of IAS in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Tab.
3) showed that the most plants originated from the Americas (37 taxa, 74%), among which
most originate from North America (26 taxa, 52%). Plants that originate from Asia are also
significantly represented (13 taxa, 26%). The IAS of Bosnia and Herzegovina primarily has
American and Asian origins, similar to other countries in this region including Croatia (Bori
et al., 2008), Montenegro (Steevi & Petrovi, 2010) and Serbia (Lazarevi et al., 2012).
Up to now five taxa of IAS have distribution restricted only to Bosnia, mostly in
the Posavina region: Asclepias syriaca, Chamomilla suaveolens, Echinocystis lobata,
Impatiens glandulifera and Solidago gigantea. According to distribution maps in FCD
(Nikoli (ed.), 2013) almost all given taxa have the same continental distributions in
neighbouring Croatia.
Due to the favorable climate and higher level of disturbance the Mediterranean
part of the country hosted significantly higher number of IAS than continental-mountainous.
IAS (12 taxa) typical for the Mediterranean part of the country are: Artemisia verlotiorum,
Aster squamatus, Bidens subalternans, Broussonetia papyrifera, Conyza bonariensis,
Duchesnea indica, Eleusine indica, Euphorbia prostra, Opuntia vulgaris, Paspalum
paspalodes, Pueraria thunbergiana, Solanum elaeagnifolium and Tagetes minuta. Other taxa
(33) are distributed in both parts of the country (Fig.2).
Conclusions
The preliminary check-list of invasive alien plant species (IAS) in Bosnia and
Herzegovina consists of 50 taxa belonging to 43 genera and 25 families.The families with the
highest number of IAS are Asteraceae, Poaceae and Fabaceae.
In the spectrum of life forms therophytes are prevailing, while due to its native
range, the majority of IAS has North American origin. Due to the favourable climate and
higher level of disturbance the Mediterranean part of the country is more favourable for alien
plant species than the continental one.
It is important to note that my results in this study did not include several wellknow invasive taxa, which were recorded in the country, such as Heracleum mantegazzianum

Sommier & Lvier, Paspalum dilatatum Poir and Senecio inaequidens DC, due to their short
residence times in to the area,and limited amount of herbarium records of these species.
Therefore, further studies are highly recommended in the future.

Fig. 2. Preliminary data on the distribution of some invasive alien plant species in Bosnia and
Herzegovina

Fig. 3.. Some invasive alien plant species in Bosnia and Herzegovina.: a. Asclepias syriaca
b. Bidens frondosa c. Chamomilla suaveolens d. Chenopodium ambrosioides e. Conyza
bonariensis f. Echinocystis lobata g. Impatiens glandulifera h. Reynoutria japonica
i. Solidago canadensis (Photo: Semir Maslo except photo a, b and f, by emso ari).

Acknowledgement
I would like to thank to Aldin Bokailo on the mapping of distribution of species as well as
my colleague Jessica Andersson for improving the English of this paper.
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