Neophytes in Western Austria and Eastern Alps

Neophytes in western Austria and eastern Alps

Alien plant species have become very important in the flora and vegetation of many countries and regions. Their percentage often reaches 20 % and more in the floras of alpine regions, with steadily increasing numbers. Flora and vegetation are consequently changing, and especially in the surroundings of cities, the urban hinterland or the main settlement areas alien plant species get more and more relevance. Invasive alien species (IAS) dominate whole areas, in particular noticeable when flowering.

Invasion, establishment and spread of neophytes in Tyrol, western Austria and adjacent Eastern Alpine regions are main research topics as well as the influence of IAS on regional biodiversity. Our studies are based on floristics, mapping, phytosociological methods and the examination of historical data.

Because of the applied character of at least a part of our research, there is a close linkage to regional authorities (Umweltabteilung des Landes Tirol) and to the public, but also to the private sector. 

Research-questions/aims

  • What is the influence of alien taxa on native diversity?
  • What semi natural to natural habitats are endangered by IAS?
  • What is the role of IAS relating to floodplain restoration and vegetation development?
  • Invasion and spread of aliens on urban and ruderal habitats, especially at roadsides and railway tracks 
  • Generation of an inventory of North Tyrolean neophytes and documentation of floristic changes
  • Generation of list of problematic aliens (weeds, transformers,“black list”)

Funding

  • Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung (BM.W_F)
    Projekttitel:
    Alien invaders - Fließgewässerrenaturierung und Neophyten, ein übersehenes Problem [Link]
  • Land Tirol
    Projekttitel:
    Kompetenzzentrum Neophyta in Tirol  [Link]

Cooperations
Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung Abteilung Umweltschutz
Museo Civico di Rovereto
Naturmuseum Südtirol/ Museo di Scienze Naturali dell'Alto Adige
ÖBB - Austrian Railways 

Personnel involved
Konrad Pagitz
Kay Cichini
Cäcilia Lechner Pagitz