Biodivers Conserv (2018) 27:1811–1829
The role of protected area zoning in invasive plant
· Kateřina Berchová‐Bímová
· Jana Pěknicová
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 /
Published online: 23 January 2018
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018
Abstract As anthropogenic pressure on the landscape increases, invasive alien species
(IAS) pose a growing threat to areas designed to protect high biodiversity habitats. In
order to assess the present danger of IAS spread, we examined 23 Czech sites of com-
munity importance (SCI) within Natura 2000 protected areas (PA) over 2015 and mapped
the occurrence of four IAS: Solidago spp. (goldenrod), Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan
balsam), Heracleum mantegazzianum (giant hogweed) and Fallopia spp. (Japanese knot-
weed). The model areas were divided into ﬁve monitoring zones, graded by conservation
importance and habitat disturbance level (core area [A], broader core area [B], semi-natu-
ral habitat [C], anthropogenically aﬀected habitat [D], anthropogenically degraded habitat
[E]). Despite a high number of IAS occurrences (3222 localities), habitats of European
importance (zone A) showed a relatively low level of invasion (< 0.3% total area). High-
est IAS occurrence number was in SCI border areas and disturbed habitats (zones C and
E). There was a signiﬁcant positive correlation between level of invasion inside and out-
side SCIs, related to human activities such as logging and urbanisation. A strong eﬀect for
watercourse vicinity was noted for the occurrence of I. glandulifera and Fallopia spp.; but
not for H. mantegazzianum and Solidago spp. A stratiﬁed management approach, employ-
ing zones delimitation to assess what threat pose IAS to the PA objects of conservation,
can be useful to prioritize control measures in IAS local action plans.
Communicated by David Hawksworth.
This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Invasive species.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (http s://doi.org/10.1007 /s105
31-018-1508 -z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
* Johana Vardarman
Department of Applied Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life
Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, Prague 6 – Suchdol 165 21, Czech Republic