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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Risks, benefits, and knowledge gaps of non-native tree species in Europe

Dimitrova, Anastazija; Csillery, Katalin; Klisz, Marcin; Levesque, Mathieu; Heinrichs, Steffi; Cailleret, Maxime; Andivia, Enrique; Madsen, Palle; Bohenius, Henrik; Cvjetkovic, Branislav; De Cuyper, Bart; de Dato, Giovanbattista; Ferus, Peter; Heinze, Berthold; Ivetic, Vladan; Kobolkuti, Zoltan; Lazarevic, Jelena; Lazdina, Dagnija; Maaten, Tiit; Makovskis, Kristaps;
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Changing ecosystem conditions and diverse socio-economical events have contributed to an ingrained presence of non-native tree species (NNTs) in the natural and cultural European landscapes. Recent research endeavors have focused on different aspects of NNTs such as legislation, benefits, and risks for forestry, emphasizing that large knowledge gaps remain. As an attempt to fulfill part of these gaps, within the PEN-CAFoRR COST Action (CA19128) network, we established an open-access questionnaire that allows both academic experts and practitioners to provide information regarding NNTs from 20 European countries. Then, we integrated the data originating from the questionnaire, related to the country-based assessment of both peer-reviewed and grey literature, with information from available datasets (EUFORGEN and EU-Forest), which gave the main structure to the study and led to a mixed approach review. Finally, our study provided important insights into the current state of knowledge regarding NNTs. In particular, we highlighted NNTs that have shown to be less commonly addressed in research, raising caution about those characterized by an invasive behavior and used for specific purposes (e.g., wood production, soil recultivation, afforestation, and reforestation). NNTs were especially explored in the context of resilient and adaptive forest management. Moreover, we emphasized the assisted and natural northward migration of NNTs as another underscored pressing issue, which needs to be addressed by joint efforts, especially in the context of the hybridization potential. This study represents an additional effort toward the knowledge enhancement of the NNTs situation in Europe, aiming for a continuously active common source deriving from interprofessional collaboration.


climate change; forestry; invasive species; distribution; hybridization; database; grey literature; assisted migration

Published in

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
2022, Volume: 10, article number: 908464

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network
    SLU Forest Damage Center

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

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