The spread of Impatiens parviflora DC. in Central European oak forests – another stage of invasion?

Kamila Reczyńska, Krzysztof Świerkosz, Zygmunt Dajdok


In this study, we examine the pattern of occurrence of Impatiens parviflora in Central European oak forests over time and its ecological requirements within these types of communities. Research was based on phytosociological data collected in 3776 relevés. A modified TWINSPAN algorithm were used to distinguish the groups of oak forests. The ecological preferences of the I. parviflora and studied communities as well as differences between invaded and non-invaded vegetation plots were analyzed using mean weighted Ellenberg indicator values (EIVs). Finally, both the temporal pattern of I. parviflora participation and changes in its coverage in the studied communities were analyzed. Our study confirmed a high adaptability of this species with respect to temperature, moisture, soil reaction and nutrients and determined its broad ecological optimum in oak forests. However, it also revealed both a greater sensitivity of some communities within Central European oak forests to the invasion of I. parviflora and differences in habitat conditions between invaded and non-invaded vegetation plots. This suggests that the habitat niche of I. parviflora within oak forests is not accidental. The analysis of temporal changes in the frequency of I. parviflora confirmed a 20% increase in relevés over the last 50 years. However, we did not identify any statistically significant rise in the coverage of I. parviflora in oak forests specifically during the studied period.


invasive plants; long-term changes; plant species composition; forest vegetation; ecological amplitude; small balsam

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