Geographical distribution and spatio-temporal changes in the occurrence of invasive plant species in Slovak Republic

  • L. Wittlinger Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra
  • L. Petrikovičová Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra
  • F. Petrovič Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra
  • J. Petrikovič Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra
Keywords: invasive species management; non-native plants; predicting invasive plants; implications for conservation; Slovakia.


Biological systems are subject to a dramatic increase in invading species in the 21st century due to increasing globalization around the world. In the near future, these species will cause more extensive ecological as well as socio-economic damage. Biotic invasions will result not only in a reduction of the original biodiversity, but also total loss, particularly degradation of natural habitats – especially Natura 2000 habitats. This study aims to understand the processes of spread of invasive plant species, their way of life, adaptation to environmental changes and displacement of native species. Without the local level, it is not possible to understand these processes on the regional and continental dimensions and thus implement scientific facts and findings into the prediction of the development of global biosystems. The research was conducted during the vegetation period in the years 2017–2021 in the studied areas of non-forest and forest habitats in the central part of Slovakia. We recorded 242 localities in the area with the occurrence of invasive plant species in an area of 3.057 km2 out of the total mapped area of 169.024 km2. We recorded the highest number of localities and the most expansive distribution for the species Stenactis annua, Robinia pseudoacacia, Solidago canadensis, Impatiens glandulifera and Fallopia japonica.


Alston, K. P., & Richardson, D. M. (2006). The roles of habitat features, disturbance, and distance from putative source populations in structuring alien plant invasions at the urban/wildland interface on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. Biological Conservation, 132(2), 183–198.
Anderson, C. J., Heins, D., Pelletier, K. C., Bohnen, J. L., & Knight, J. F. (2021). Mapping invasive Phragmites australis using unoccupied aircraft system imagery, canopy height models, and synthetic aperture radar. Remote Sensing, 13, 3303.
Andrew, M. A., & Ustin, S. L. (2008). The role of environmental context in mapping invasive plants with hyperspectral image data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 112(1), 4301–4317.
Bacher, S., Blackburn, T. M., Essl, F., Genovesi, P., Heikkilä, J., Jeschke, J. M. (2018). Socio-economic impact classification of alien taxa (SEICAT). Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9(1), 159–168.
Biró, M., Molnár, Z., Babai, D., Fehér, A, Demeter, L., & Öllerer, K. (2019). Reviewing historical traditional knowledge for innovative conservation management: A re-evaluation of wetland grazing. Science of the Total Environment, 666, 1114–1125.
Blackburn, T. M., Essl, F., Evans, T., Hulme, P. E., Jeschke, J. M., & Kühn, I. (2014). A unified classification of alien species based on the magnitude of their environmental impacts. PloS Biology, 12(5), e1001850.
Braun, M., Schindler, S., & Ess, F. (2016). Distribution and management of invasive alien plant species in protected areas in Central Europe. Journal for Nature Conservation, 33, 48–57.
Brooks, M. L., D’antonio, C. M., Richardson, D. M., Grace, J. B., Keeley, J. E., & DiTomaso, J. M. (2004). Effects of invasive alien plants on fire regimes. BioScience, 54(7), 677–688.
Burda, R. I., & Koniakin, S. N. (2019). The non-native woody species of the flora of Ukraine: Introduction, naturalization and invasion. Biosystems Diversity, 27(3), 276–290.
Christen, D. C., & Matlack, G. R. (2009). The habitat and conduit functions of roads in the spread of three invasive plant species. Biological Invasions, 11, 453–465.
Corine Landcover (2018). Corine Land Cover.
Cvachová, A., & Gojdičová, E. (2003). Usmernenie na odstraňovanie inváznych druhov rastlín [Guidelines for the removal of invasive plant species]. Banská Bystrica: Štátna ochrana prírody SR-Centrum ochrany prírody a krajiny (in Slovak).
Dubovik, D. V., Skuratovich, A. N., Miller, D., Spiridovich, E. V., Gorbunov, Y. N., & Vinogradova, Y. K. (2019). The invasiveness of Solidago canadensis in the Sanctuary “Prilepsky” (Belarus). Nature Conservation Research, 4(2), 48–56.
Dyderski, M. K., Paź, S., Frelich, L. E., & Jagodziński, A. M. (2018). How much does climate change threaten European forest tree species distributions? Global Change Biology, 24, 1150–1163.
Flory, S. L., & Clay, K. (2010). Non-native grass invasion alters native plant composition in experimental communities. Biological Invasions, 12, 1285–1294.
Franc, V., Malina, R., & Škodová, M. (2015). Základy biogeografie a ekológie [Basics of biogeography and ecology]. FPV UMB, Banská Bystrica (in Slovak).
Galko, J. (2018). Invázne a nepôvodné druhy v lesoch Slovenska: Hmyz – huby – rastliny [Invasive and non-native species in the forests of Slovakia: Insects – fungi – plants]. Národné lesnícke centrum – Lesnícky výskumný ústav Zvolen (in Slovak).
Gojdičová, E., Cvachová, A., & Karasová, E. (2002). Zoznam nepôvodných, inváznych a expanzívnych cievnatých rastlín Slovenska [List of non-native, invasive and expansive vascular plants of Slovakia.]. ŠOP SR (in Slovak).
González-Moreno, P., Pino, J., Gassó, N., & Vila, M. (2013). Landscape context modulates alien plant invasion in Mediterranean forest edges. Biological Invasions, 15(3), 547–557.
He, K. S., Bradley, B. A., Cord, A. F., Rocchini, D., Tuanmu, M. N., Schmidtlein, S., & Pettorelli, N. (2015). Will remote sensing shape the next generation of species distribution models? Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 376, 4–18.
Historická ortofotomapa [Historical orthophotomap]. Geodis Slovakia, s.r.o.; Historické LMS Topografický ústav Banská Bystrica; Ortofotomapa Eurosense, s.r.o. a Geodis Slovakia, s.r.o.; Mapové podklady Topú Banská Bystrica; Katastrálna mapa WMS, Mapa určeného operátu WMS ÚGKK SR, 2015; ZBGIS GKÚ Bratislava, 2017; Ortofotomozaika GKÚ, NLC, 2017.
Hobbs, R. J., & Huenneke, L. F. (1992). Disturbance, diversity, and invasion: Implications for conservation. Conservation Biology, 6(3), 324–337.
Höfle, R., Dullinger, S., & Essl, F. (2014). Different factors affect the local distribution, persistence and spread of alien tree species in floodplain forests. Basic and Applied Ecology, 15, 426–434.
Hrašna, M., & Klukanová, A. (2014). Inžinierskogeologická rajonizácia [Engineering geological zoning] M 1:500 000. Štátny geologický ústav Dionýza Štúra, Bratislava (in Slovak).
Jarnevich, C. S., Evangelista, P., Stohlgren, T. J., & Morisette, J. (2011). Improving national-scale invasion maps: Tamarisk in the Western United States. Western North American Naturalist, 71(2), 164–175.
Keller, R. P., Geist, J., Jeschke, J. M., & Kühn, I. (2011). Invasive species in Europe: Ecology, status, and policy. Environmental Sciences Europe, 23(1), 23.
Kleunen, M., Dawson, W., & Essl, F. (2015). Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants. Nature, 525, 100–103.
Kočický, D., & Ivanič, B. (2014). Geomorfologické členenie Slovenska [Geomorphological division of Slovakia]. Štátny geologický ústav Dionýza Štúra, Bratislava (in Slovak).
Kočický, D., & Ivanič, B. (2014). Klimatickogeografické typy [Climatic-geographical types]. Štátny geologický ústav Dionýza Štúra, Bratislava (in Slovak).
Končeková, L., Halmová, D., & Fehér, A. (2020). Edible wild plants growing in adjacent spontaneous vegetation of energy plantations in Southwest Slovakia. Potravinarstvo Slovak Journal of Food Sciences, 14, 1–7.
Krigas, N., Tsiafouli, M. A., Katsoulis, G., Votsi, N. E., & Van Klenen, M. (2021). Invesstigant the invasion pattern of the alien plant Solanum elaeahnifolium Cav (silverleaf nihgt shade): Environmental and human-induced drivers. Plants, 10(4), 805.
Kutnar, L., & Pisek, R. (2013). Non-native and invasive tree species in the Slovenian forests. Gozdarski Vestnik, 71(9), 402–417.
LGIS (2021). Lesnícky geografický informačný systém [Forestry geographical information system] (in Slovak).
Liu, X., Liu, H., Datta, P., Frey, J., & Koch, B. (2020). Mapping an invasive plant Spartina alterniflora by combining an ensemble one-class classification algorithm with a phenological NDVI time-series analysis approach in middle coast of Jiangsu, China. Remote Sensing, 12, 4010.
Lykholat, Y., Khromykh, N., Didur, O., Alexeyeva, A., Lykholat, T., & Davydov, V. (2018). Modeling the invasiveness of Ulmus pumila in urban ecosystems under climate change. Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems, 9(2), 161–166.
Malík, P., & Švasta, J. (2002). Hlavné hydrogeologické regióny [Main hydrogeological regions]. In: Hrnčiarová, T. (Ed.). Atlas krajiny SR. MŽP, Bratislava (in Slovak).
Map portal KIMS of the State Nature Protection of Slovakia (2021). Botanical occurrence records.
Marhold, K., & Hindák, F. (Eds.). (1998). Zoznam nižších a vyšších rastlín Slovenska – Checklist of non-vascular and vascular plants of Slovakia. Veda, VSAV, Bratislava.
Medvecká, J., Jarolímek, I., Hegedüšová, K., Škodová, I., Bazalová, D., Botková, K. (2018). Forest habitat invasions – who with whom, where and why. Forest Ecology and Management, 409, 468–478.
Michalko, J. (1986). Geobotanická mapa ČSSR. Veda, Bratislava (in Slovak).
Müllerová, J., Pergl, J., & Pyšek, P. (2013). Remote sensing as a tool for monitoring plant invasions: Testing the effects of data resolution and image classification approach on the detection of a model plant species Heracleum mantegazzianum (giant hogweed). International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 25, 55–65.
Nariadenie vlády č. 449/2019 Z. z. Nariadenie vlády Slovenskej republiky, ktorým sa vydáva zoznam inváznych nepôvodných druhov vzbudzujúcich obavy Slovenskej republiky [Government Regulation no. 449/2019 Coll. Regulation of the Government of the Slovak Republic issuing a list of invasive alien species of concern to the Slovak Republic] (in Slovak).
Pladias – databáze české flóry a vegetace (2021) [database of Czech flora and vegetation] (in Slovak).
Plesník, P. (2002). Fytogeograficko-vegetačné členenie. mierka 1: 1 000 000. In: Hrnčiarová, T. (Ed.). Atlas krajiny SR. MŽP, Banská Bystrica, Bratislava.
Puchałka, R., Dyderski, M. K., Vítková, M., Sádlo, J., Klisz, M., Netsvetov, M., Prokopuk, Y., Matisons, R., Mionskowski, M., Wojda, T., Koprowski, M., & Jagodziński, A. M. (2021). Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) range contraction and expansion in Europe under changing climate. Global Change Biology, 8, 1587–1600.
Pyšek, P., Chytrý, M., Pergl, J., Sádlo, J., & Wild, J. (2012). Plant invasions in the Czech Republic: Current state, introduction dynamics, invasive species and invaded habitats. Preslia, 84, 575–629.
Ružek, I., & Noga, M. (2015). Invázne druhy rastlín v Strednej Európe. Univerzita Komenského v Bratislave, Prírodovedecká fakulta, Vydavateľstvo.
Sádlo, J., Vítková, M., Pergl, J., & Pyšek, P. (2017). Towards site-specific management of invasive alien trees based on the assessment of their impacts: The case of Robinia pseudoacacia. NeoBiota, 35, 1–34.
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2009). Invasive alien species: A threat to biodiversity. Convention on biological diversity. Montreal, Quebec.
Singh, G., Reynolds, C., Byrne, M., & Rosman, B. A. (2020). Remote sensing method to monitor water, aquatic vegetation, and invasive water hyacinth at national extents. Remote Sensing, 12, 4021.
Sofková, M., & David, S. (2016). Invaded plants communities in the Berek floodplain forest (Nové Zámky distr., Slovakia). In: Polak, O., & Cerkal, R. (Eds.). Proceeding of 23 International Conference (Mendelnet). Mendel University Brno, Fac AgriSciences, Brno. Pp. 146–151.
Štátna ochrana prírody SR, Banská Bystrica. Invázne druhy rastlín Slovenskej republiky (2021) [State nature protection of the Slovak Republic, Banská Bystrica. Invasive plant species of the Slovak Republic] (in Slovak).
Sudam, S. C., & Kumar, S. (2020). Diversity and ecology of invasive plants. IntechOpen.
Tkalich, Y. I., Tsyliuryk, O. І., Rudakov, Y. M., & Kozechko, V. І. (2021). Efficiency of post-emergence (“insurance”) herbicides in soybean crops of the Northern Steppe of Ukraine. Agrology, 4(4), 165–173.
Turbelin, A., & Catford, J. A. (2021). Invasive plants and climate change. Climate Change: Observed Impacts on Planet Earth, 515, 539.
Úradný vestník Európskej únie (2014). L 317/35. Nariadenie európskeho parlamentu a rady (EÚ) č. 1143/2014 z 22. októbra 2014 o prevencii a manažmente introdukcie a šírenia inváznych nepôvodných druhov [Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council 1143/2014 of 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species] (in Slovak).
Úradný vestník Európskej únie (2016). Vykonávacie nariadenie komisie (EÚ) 2016/1141 z 13. júla 2016, ktorým sa prijíma zoznam inváznych nepôvodných druhov vzbudzujúcich obavy Únie podľa nariadenia Európskeho parlamentu a Rady (EÚ) č. 1143/2014 [Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1141 of 13 July 2016 adopting the list of invasive alien species of Union concern pursuant to Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council EU no. 1143/2014] (in Slovak).
Úradný vestník L 206, 22/07/1992 S. 0007 - 0050. Smernica Rady 92/43/EHS z 21. mája 1992 o ochrane prirodzených biotopov a voľne žijúcich živočíchov a rastlín [Council Directive 92/43 / EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora] (in Slovak).
Vass, D., & Elečko, M. (1992). Vysvetlivky ku geologickej mape Lučenskej kotliny a Cerovej vrchoviny [Explanations to the geological map of the Lučenská basin and the Cer Highlands]. M: 1: 50 000. ŠGÚDS, Bratislava (in Slovak).
Vyhláška č. 450/2019 Z. z. Vyhláška Ministerstva životného prostredia Slovenskej republiky, ktorou sa ustanovujú podmienky a spôsoby odstraňovania inváznych nepôvodných druhov [Decree of the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic, which lays down the conditions and methods of elimination of invasive non-native species] (in Slovak).
Výskumný ústav pôdoznalectva a ochrany pôdy, Bratislava. Pôdne mapy (2021) [Research Institute of Soil Science and Soil Protection, Bratislava. Soil maps] (in Slovak).
Wagner, V., Chytrý, M., Jiménez-Alfaro, B., Pergl, J., Hennekens, S., Biurrun, I., Knollová, I., Berg, C., Vassilev, K., Rodwell, J. S., Škvorc, Ž., Jandt, U., Ewald, J., Jansen, F., Tsiripidis, I., Botta-Dukát, Z., Casella, L., Attorre, F., Rašomavičius, V., Ćušterevska, R., Schaminée, J. H. J., Brunet, J., Lenoir, J., Svenning, J. C., Kącki, Z., Petrášová-Šibíková, M., Šilc, U., García-Mijangos, I., Campos, J. A., Fernández-González, F., Wohlgemuth, T., Onyshchenko, V., Pyšek, P. (2017). Alien plant invasions in European woodlands. Diversity and Distribution, 23, 969–981.
Yorkina, N. V., Teluk, P., Umerova, A. K., Budakova, V. S., Zhaley, O. A., Ivanchenko, K. O., & Zhukov, O. V. (2021). Assessment of the recreational transformation of the grass cover of public green spaces. Agrology, 4(1), 10–20.
ZBGIS (2021). Základná mapa [Basic map] (in Slovak).