First record of Pontederia cordata L. (Pontederiaceae) in southern Spain and risk assessment for Europe
Dana ED, García-de-Lomas J, Verloove F (2021) First record of Pontederia cordata L. (Pontederiaceae) in southern Spain and risk assessment for Europe. BioInvasions Records 10(4), 775– 788. https://doi.org/10.3391/bir.2021.10.4.02
Pontederia cordata L. (Pontederiaceae) is an emerging aquatic plant native to the American continent that has been introduced to various continents through longdistance commerce as an ornamental plant. Individuals growing in the wild belonging to Pontederia L. genus where found in South Spain. The analysis of diagnostic characters of the collected specimens and their comparison to those represented in herbarium vouchers allowed us to distinguish them from its closest relative, P. sagittata C. Presl and to assign all the specimens found at the locality to P. cordata L. This is the southernmost European record of the species. It was clear that the origin of the introduction was the use as ornamental aquatic plant in the area. Its invasion risk was assessed for Europe, firstly, by analysing the suitability of European climate for the species, secondly, by assessing the potential impact. Results showed that from 92.5 to 92.9% of the meteorological stations analysed showed climate conditions that were compatible with the species’ climatic requirements. The ecological characteristics of the species and the climatic features of the area analysed suggest a great risk of invasion that could lead to the species’ spread in Europe. These findings suggest that P. cordata could threaten European wetlands.
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