Project name: Establishment of the National Monitoring System for Invasive Alien Species – IAS (KK.06.5.1.01.0001)„Analysis of existing data on alien species and IAS with an elaboration of mapping methodology, service of mapping of alien species and IAS with development, testing and completing of the IAS monitoring program and service of analysis of pathways of introduction and spread of IAS“ – Group 17: “Mapping of alien species and invasive alien plants, development, completing and testing of the monitoring program”
Client: Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development
Period: 04/2019 – 02/2021
Aim of this project was to map non-native and invasive alien plant species and to make, refine and test monitoring programs for the Republic of Croatia. The project was divided into four work packages. Work package 0 included making of a work plan detailing work dynamics for work packages 1-3.
Work Package 1 included the mapping of selected non-native and invasive alien plant species in priority areas within 356 quadrants (each quadrant with an area of 10 x 10 km). The list of selected non-native and invasive alien plant species mapped for this project contains a total of 82 species and 2 genera that include all species within these genera, but in case determination was not possible, they were determined at the genus level. Prior to the field research, a manual for the chosen species was made which served as an aid in determining plant material in the field. All plant species were mapped if they grew outside the culture. An invasive plant species inventory application developed as part of the project and was used to map selected plant species. As part of work package 1, 6 quarterly reports were prepared with data collected in each quarterly period, and a final report containing consolidated data from all quarterly reports. Some of the most common alien invasive plant species that have been mapped are: Ambrosia artemisiifolia L., Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers., Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronquist, Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers., Solidago gigantea Aiton, Robinia pseudoacacia L., Amaranthus retroflexus L., Amorpha fruticosa L., Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle and Xanthium strumarium L. ssp. italicum (Moretti) D.Löve.
The task of work package 2 was to develop a monitoring program for two invasive alien plant species from the Union list (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1141 of 13 July 2016 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1263 of 12 July 2017). Chosen plant species from the Union list were Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle (tree of heaven) and Ludwigia peploides (Kunth) P. H. Raven. Tree of heaven was selected as a widespread invasive tree species, and Ludwigia peploides was selected as an aquatic plant species that was previously recorded in only one locality in the Republic of Croatia. Within work package 3, the task was to test and refine monitoring programs made as part of work package 2. Testing of monitoring programs (field research) was conducted on a total of 20 quadrants (each quadrant with an area of 10 x 10 km). Testing of the monitoring program for species Ludwigia peploides was done by direct field mapping using GPS devices and prepared forms. Field research was conducted in wet and aquatic habitats. For tree of heaven testing was done by direct field mapping using GPS devices and prepared forms and using unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). Field research was conducted in natural and semi-natural habitats. After testing monitoring programs made as part of work package 2, monitoring programs were finalized according to the data collected by field testing.