The term invasive species is very often mentioned in the media, but it is rarely given the importance it deserves.
Let’s start with what the term invasive species actually means. By definition, an invasive species is any species that has spread beyond the limits of its natural range. In the new environment, this species spreads uncontrollably, suppressing the local flora and fauna. Over time, this imbalance leads to a domino effect that affects all species in the ecosystem.
The problem of invasive species is closely related to human activity, as transport technology has advanced, so has the number of alien species around the world. Many of the invasive species have been deliberately introduced into new environments due to their economic importance, but it is not uncommon for potentially harmful plants and animals to arrive in a new environment completely by accident. One of the most famous is the introduction of cats to Australia. In the new environment, cats multiplied very quickly and began to destroy the living world uncontrollably, leading to the extinction of several species of small mammals. However, in this text, we will deal with the situation in Serbia, and present the five plant species that we encounter every day.
- Acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) – native to North America, today is a very widespread species in Serbia. It is often bred for its economic profitability (timber, food for bees), but despite its multiple uses, it still represents an intruder in our region. It spreads very quickly thanks to a well-developed root system from which lateral shoots are formed.
- Sour tree (Ailanthus altissima) – a guest from the Far East. A tree that can grow up to fifteen meters in height. In recent decades, in great expansion. Often in urban areas where it sprouts and in completely unexpected places.
- Ornamental bamboo (Faloppia japonica) – currently a somewhat less widespread species with the potential to become a serious problem. It spreads extremely fast, almost completely suppressing the local flora. It is very difficult to remove due to a well-developed rhizome system. It is considered especially problematic that this plant, with its uncontrolled spread, can disrupt roads and other constructions.
- Amorpha fruticosa – originating from North America, we do not have a local name. Shrubby plant from the legume family. Adopted as an ornamental plant, aliveoma adapted quickly and today spreads unhindered.
- Ambrosia (Ambrosia artemisifolia) – probably the most invasive plant she talks about. Despite being widespread, it does not pose a serious threat to local species. It is best known for the pollen to which it is allergic part of the population.