Invasive plant species in Karelia: strangers among their own kind

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invasive plant species in karelia

Researchers from the Laboratory for Landscape Ecology and Forest Ecosystem Protection of the Forest Research Institute KarRC RAS Vera Timofeeva and Aleksey Kravchenko tell about invasive plant species in Karelia.

Invasive plant species have grown into major economic and environmental issues, especially in southern parts of Russia, where their spread has reached a massive scope. Karelia is not yet facing this hazard. Here, many of such species find themselves at the northern limit of their distribution, and their farther spread northwards is constrained by the harsh climate.

There are 12–15 plant species that are the most aggressive in spreding. Their survival strategies enable mass dispersal across Karelia. The classic examples of invasive species are the Canadian pondweed, Himalayan balsam, and Sosnowsky’s hogweed.

Photo: Anastasia Prokhorova