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Ukr. Bot. J. 2016, 73(5): 431–439
Plant Taxonomy, Geography and Floristics

Vascular plants of the flora of Ukraine highly invasive in North America: a geographical analysis

Mosyakin A.S.

High invasive potential in North America is peculiar to 84 species of vascular plants native to Ukraine (belonging to 38 families and 66 genera), which are recognized as invasive at national (USA and Canada) and regional (states, provinces and territories) levels. The list of taxa has been analyzed from the viewpoint of their geographic distribution (native ranges). By the number of species, elements of the Eurasian group (totally 64 species) dominate: mostly species with wide ranges, representatives of the Eurasian (20 species), European-Western Asian (17 species), and European-Siberian (10 species) elements. Next groups are Ancient Mediterranean (11 species) and European (8 species) ones. These patterns confirm the empirical regularity indicating that the highest invasive potential (especially in transcontinental invasions) is peculiar mainly to species with wide ranges, and areas of primary and secondary parts of the total species range often positively correlate. Exceptions to this rule are species aggregates with active processes of microevolution, involving the formation of local geographical races that sometimes have invasive potentials comparable to those of wide-range species.

Keywords: invasive species, taxonomic analysis, phylogeny, flora, Ukraine, North America

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